Re: The Future of Racism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 01:59:51 MDT

On Mon, May 21, 2001 at 08:43:10PM -0400, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Lee Corbin wrote:
> >
> > There is a biological urge, I think, for people to seek out others of
> > their own tribe.
> *Yes*. That's *right*.

Well, a neuropsychological caveat: it might not be anything so strong as
an urge, but simply a tendency to 1) learn the common appearances of
ones tribe and 2) a tendency to feel more at home later with people
whose appearance is easily parsed.

> Which is why any attempt to track which race a
> person is carries its own discrimination-propagating overhead. It is why
> "distinguishing between races in order to stamp out racism has ceased to
> be a good tradeoff". Let people think of their tribe as "Democratic" or
> "Republican" or "Presbyterian" or "Extropian" or something else that's a
> free choice of beliefs.

Exactly. When I think about my own affiliation I realize I have little
in common with my fellow Swedes - a bit of shared culture, but I am even
more strongly affected by Greek, Italian, Anglosaxon and Chinese culture
in relevant areas.

> > Of course, when parents are designing their kids
> > in a few years, one of the options will hopefully be whether to include
> > this option or not.
> You can't untangle genes so easily. Locating a hardware brain center
> supporting racism and training selected volunteers via fMRI "cognitive
> feedback" to identify and stop using that emotion would be a different
> issue.

I don't think fMRI biofeedback is a useful method for the next decade or
so - too big and expensive, and also total overkill. Cognitive therapy
or just social interaction with other groups works wonderful.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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