Re: Impact on history

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 11:19:41 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> On Sat, 15 Sep 2001, John Clark wrote:
> > It doesn't matter if you like it, it's the attitude American civilians
> > would inevitably take, Afghan civilians believe the same thing with
> > just one minor change. Three billion years of evolution has
> > constructed us in such a way that your death is bad but my death is an
> > unimaginable horror. Did you expect something else?
> Difference in relative evaluation of damage is also what drives violence
> autofeedback loops. "They killed 5 of us, men who were in their prime. The
> widows are grieving, the enemy has torn a hole into our midst. We will
> retaliate, and hurt them as much as they hurt us. This will require at
> least 50 of them.". Iterate.
> This is the neolithic algorithm that is still in operation. It arose when
> communities counted around ~100 individua, and went to war with neighbour
> tribes. Conflicts petered out naturally then. Allowing this algorithm to
> guide our actions now is suicide.

Exactly correct. When context changes, positive control information can turn
negative. If that happens, it results in a spiral to extinction unless the
loop can be interrupted. Each of us should think about what he/she can do
locally to interrupt this loop globally.


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