Re: The Pause that Refreshes

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 12:53:11 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > This sounds an awful lot like you are just changing as you get older.
>However, I think it is an oversimplification to say that the
>understanding that slowing down can be beneficial is mainly due to a
>biological slowing or the lack of youthful impatience (even an
>impatient youth can come to understand the benefits, but may be unable
>to reach them). That may contribute, but I also see a need for
>sufficient experience to be able to compare different approaches to

Regarding parameters that were important enough for evolution to
encode expectations about, we expect our evolved expectations to
be on average correct, at least regarding our ancestors' environments.

The pace of life sure seems to me an important enough parameter for
evolution to encode expectations about. If slowing down happened to
be more beneficial in the modern world that in our ancestors' world,
then yes we might expect modern humans to begin life with too fast
a life and to learn this fact as their lives progressed.

But since don't have any particular reason to think slowing down is
more beneficial for us than our ancestors, and since we already think
that in our ancestors' world it was best for teenagers to be more
impatient than middle aged folks, it seems simpler to see this same
pattern in modern folks as just the result of evolved age-specific

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

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