Re: The Pause that Refreshes

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 08:29:38 MDT

Greg Burch wrote:
>I LOVED your post. It echoes something I've come to appreciate in the last
>couple of years, especially the last few months; that is that consciously
>cultivating behavior aimed at a SLOWER pace has substantial benefits in many
>aspects of my life. In particular, I've come to appreciate working in the
>garden around our house as I never had before.

This sounds an awful lot like you are just changing as you get older.
Evolution has programmed humans to express different genes at different
ages, which changes both obvious things about our bodies and less
obvious things about our minds. We are in many ways just different
people when we get older, with different abilities and preferences.

People seem to talk all the time about how they "discovered" things
about what they liked at certain crucial ages, whereas it seems much
more likely to me that they just changed. Thing of how differently sex
is to you at age 18 versus age 10. This isn't because you learned new
insights at age 15, it is because hormones were expressed that literally
made you a different person. Well changes in hormones don't stop at
age 18, they continue all the way through life.

For example, this article describes how evolution should make time
preferences change with age, including how "young adults should
discount the future more rapidly than their elders".
Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection
Alan R. Rogers, AER 84(3):460-481. (June 1994)

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:12:28 MDT