Re: Offered without comment or warranty

Anders Sandberg (
16 May 1998 17:18:33 +0200

Damien Broderick <> writes:

> Are you a later-born, Anders? Max? Natasha? Greg? Keith? John? Anyone?

I'm a first born. My younger brother and I are quite different: I'm
theoretical and he is quite practical, I tend to explore many areas
while he focus on what needs to be learned and done. It is quite
telling that I'm a computer scientist/neuroscientist and he is a civil
engineer with computer specialization.

> It occurred to me that I (a first born) have a high probability - on
> Sulloway's acount - of being narrow, conservative and opposed to change.
> My brother Mick, 15 years younger and the family's `baby', should have
> turned out neophilic and radical - as indeed he did, in a relaxed and
> sardonic way (he's a scathing authority on nuclear tropes in movies and
> TV). But I sort of muddy the picture, being gung-ho for change in some
> directions and quite narrow and hostile to innovation in many others.

I recognize the same combination of openness in some directions and
closedness in others in myself.

I think we humans tend to complicate our psychology on our own. We can
channel our anxieties into certain schemas and deal with them in
different ways. So even if you have a high basic anxiety level you
might develop coping strategies focussing it in certain directions and
having broad and very relaxed perspectives otherwise. Maybe this is
why birth order seems to be a less strong predictor among humans than
in rats.

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