Re: Evolved Preferences
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:55:41 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 4/16/97 2:28:02 AM, The Low Golden Willow writes:

>} Do these papers take into account evolution of memetic parasites? Fashion,
>} fantasy, and religious-type beliefs interfere with patience,
>} and inductive reasoning, and they haven't been doing poorly of late.
>I'm not sure what you mean by fantasy; reading fiction or believing the

Primarily things like winning the lottery or the Heisman trophy. People
today spend a lot of time and effort on things they have very slim chances of
succeeding at.

>At any rate, since both mortality and sexuality have yet to
>do poorly I wouldn't expect the analysis to apply, from what Robin's
>said. Is fashion largely attributable to sexual competition?

According to one major theory, yes.

>evolution does take time; scientific reasoning is mostly new to the past
>few centuries, and its large growth wouldn't be eating into the
>'parasites' you mention yet.

Indeed. I was asking whether the papers took into account the co-evolution
of these agents, which could potentially interfere with the development of
the wise agents these analyses predict. Robin's answer was basically no,
they didn't take this into account.

I would tend to suspect the existence of such parasitic memes would
accelerate this evolution of these characteristics. However, the same memes
might organize society against such agents, too. Educated, thrifty, and
practical minorities, such as Jews, overseas Chinese, or Parsees, are often
persecuted by society at large. Of course things are complicated in that two
of the above minorities are carrying significant religious baggage of their