Re: [SL4] Re: 'Singularity Realism'

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu Mar 25 2004 - 17:54:10 MST

At 05:36 PM 24/03/04 -0800, Thomas Buckner wrote:


>Einstein said the atom bomb changed everything, except
>how we think. Saddam, Hitler and their like are best
>seen as a continuation of past conquerors. The
>Mongols, for example, killed everyone in one kingdom
>(Khwarezm, I think): men, women, children, dogs and
>cats. Lopez of Paraguay, in the 1860's, got 2/3 of his
>country killed in the War of the Triple Alliance
>(himself included). Seems humans can't stop fighting,
>and since we just keep getting stronger weapons, we
>are absolutely our most dangerous enemy. In 1983 we
>almost had a nuclear war with the Soviets, who were
>panicked by a big military exercise called Able Archer
>(they thought we might be up to something real!)
>Since those in the know expect a Singularity within 40
>years or so, it's hardly a distant future; and since
>unenhanced humans apparently cannot solve their
>disputes without bloodshed, superhuman intelligence
>looks more and more like the only way there might be
>any survivors at all.

The problem is that win or lose war was adaptive for your genes when we
lived as hunter-gatherers. Thus we have evolved psychological mechanisms
that lead to tribes (or nations) going to war based on economic
issues--currently income per capita though the origin of the mechanism was
game and berries.

Humans who are not facing looming privation/starvation don't start wars,
though they can still be attacked by those with the root cause.

The economic connection to wars is *very old* information. But it is the
first time I know about that the evolutionary psychology origin of wars has
been understood. It leads to obvious solutions, but they are slow to take

Here's a question for you. If the population simply *had* to be cut way
back (say due to an ice age starting) would war or disease be the better

Keith Henson

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