RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 20:16:10 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 15:16:10 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
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    At 10:29 AM 14/01/02 -0500, "Lawrence DeBivort" <>


    >Slowly, the Bush administration is beginning to see the inconsistencies and
    >drawbacks of their actions: yesterday, unidentified Whote House 'sources'
    >conceded that the US actions in Afghanistan haven't 'won the war on
    >terrorism.' Next, I hope, will come the recognition that when something
    >fails, doing it harder is not the answer. And then perhaps there will be a
    >willingness to think about terrorism intelligently and to design policies
    >and actions that will defuse it. But I think it will be several months
    >before we get to this point.

    I can think of one reason this is going to be tough. A major factor at the
    root of terrorism is low wealth per capita, and even more important a
    negative rate-of-change in wealth per capita. The number of adventurous
    later borns has a strong effect as well. The late 60s, early 70s unrest in
    the US was strongly correlated to the coming of age of a lot of later born
    children. Latter born children tend to be adventurous and thus susceptible
    to picking up society subverting memes--unlike first borns who tend to be
    conservative. (See Sulloway's Born to Rebel.)

    Something the US can promote in the places where terrorist are bred is
    higher economic growth rates. But high birth rates can overwhelm economic
    growth. That is what has happened in Saudi Arabia. High as it was, the
    wealth per capita has fallen by half over the last generation. The only
    long term solution to improving wealth per capita and cutting down on the
    number of latter borns is birth control. Sadly, for meme rooted reasons
    the Bush administration is unlikely to promote that.

    Keith Henson

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