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03/05/2013

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Adam Noel

Theres something im curious about in regards to our cluelessness. Traditionally it seems socieities always created narratives or belief systems that amplify our flawed nature as a means to temper it. The enlightenment and the notion of progress dispelled this mythology unleashing the full range of wild human optimism and belief in perfectability. People always say that the religious placed themselves at the centre of the universe but they also regarded humans as deeply flawed immoral creatures.

Pretty much all current events affirm my belief that the enlightenment and our current cult of reason is the root of our declining situation. The belief in reason over tradition, novelty over familiarity and growth over stability are all dangerous concepts. Coupled with a notion that we are rational actors and that all is permeable to human inquiry leads to even greater problems.

We may on average be fools but the wisdom of ancestors helped to temper this. It is our belief in our own reason and a lack of wisdom that will bring it all down. Reason demands action while wisdom demands we know when to not. It wouldnt surprise me if rome faced similar problems.

Oliver

Dave - I am perpetually puzzled by the fact that in general, the human race certainly earns the denomination Homo laeviculus, yet in specific instances, a small number of people who appear to belong to the same species think and behave entirely differently, and demonstrate self-knowledge. People such as you.

At the risk of repetition, my question is:

Are there more than one species of genus Homo walking this planet?

Helicopter Cheese

The thing is, I do think that optimism bias (delusion) is advantageous to humans individually.

But if everyone has one, it's disadvantageous collectively.

Therein lies the rub.

Clyde

Oliver, we may be beginning the process of speciation where certain populations of humans separate, genetically, from the rest.
Given that it is impossible to separate large enough populations of humans spacially then this will most probably have to happen socially.
Generally, the very rich do not procreate with the poor. The very intelligent do not procreate with the stupid. And so on.
Given enough time it is possible that we could create a new species of human this way.
However, given Homo sapiens predilection for destroying other species, then it is highly unlikely to ever get near to that point.
Also, I doubt that any new species sloughed off of us would be any more suited to existence than ours.

Either way, humans won't be given the chance to even try. Which is a shame as it would have been interesting experiment to watch unfold.

p.s. As I'm a pessimist/realist then I suppose I would say that. Perhaps it will happen after all.

Damfino


Please consider "Original Sin" by Robinson Jeffers:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176425

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

J. Drew

Yes, I'm sure an irrational optimism bias produces many positive life outcomes,most of which I am sure have more to do with their role maintaining normal human social relations than anything else.

Andrew Kirk

Dave, thanks for the link to the video; it is astonishing. and Damfino, thanks for the link to the Jeffers poem; it will stay with me.

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