Posts tagged ‘evolutionary psychology’

dont-listen-argumentOur brain evolved to win arguments, not to find the truth. In Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory,
Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber defend the argumentative theory of reasoning. They argue that human logic reasoning evolved to win arguments, not to discover the truth.

People Argue Just to Win, Scholars Assert.

Hugo Mercier is among the researchers now asserting that reason evolved to win arguments, not seek truth. […]

Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too, but we’ll get to that) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth. […]

“Reasoning doesn’t have this function of helping us to get better beliefs and make better decisions,” said Hugo Mercier, who is a co-author of the journal article, with Dan Sperber. “It was a purely social phenomenon. It evolved to help us convince others and to be careful when others try to convince us.” Truth and accuracy were beside the point.

Indeed, Mr. Sperber, a member of the Jean-Nicod research institute in Paris, first developed a version of the theory in 2000 to explain why evolution did not make the manifold flaws in reasoning go the way of the prehensile tail and the four-legged stride. Looking at a large body of psychological research, Mr. Sperber wanted to figure out why people persisted in picking out evidence that supported their views and ignored the rest — what is known as confirmation bias — leading them to hold on to a belief doggedly in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.    Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth | NY Times

Relevance for real world issues

argue2Human-Stupidity shares the frustrations of many activists, that logical reasoning and unassailable scientific proof are not enough to convert the believers in issues like men’s rights, race and iq, *evolution, political correctness, and drug war

We are awe-struck how manipulative language successfully distorts words like *consent, *child, *rape, distorts facts about prostitution. Feminists and religious zealots thus managed to take over the United Nations and enforce world wide law changes based on voodoo theories  and forged science, like sex trafficking and one in four myths. Harvard President Larry Summers was persecuted for questioning some feminist victimization theories. Human-Stupidity posits that women have evolved especially acute language manipulation skills to make up for their physical and economic disadvantages in the EEA. As a result, peer reviewed sound scientific studies get condemned by both the US senate and the US congress by unanimous vote (Rind Study).

Nobel prize winner James Watson had his reputation ruined for well-meaningly stating scientific truths, the same truth that earned renowned scientist J. Philippe Rushton constant persecution. *Discrimination is the explanation for every gender and race difference. We are awe struck how people in high academic positions can get away with drivel like race does not exist.

Don’t miss Robert Kurzban‘s book on the evolution of hypocrisy and meddling in other people’s sex life. Which explains, partially, why lying about a blow job (Bill Clinton) seems to be a worse transgression then starting a trillion dollar war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction (Bush)..

 

Original scholarly article

Mercier, Hugo and Sperber, Dan, Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory (June 26, 2010). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 57-74, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1698090 

Excerpts from Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory

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 51y actor Doug Hutchinson's marriage to Courtney Alexis Stodden (16)51 year old actor Doug Hutchinson marries 16 year-old Courtney Alexis Stodden, with her mother’s consent. In the videos you can see a harmonious loving couple. But, all hell breaks loose. Doug is a creepy pervert, Alexis Stodden is a poor victim (or a whore) and her mother is a pimp.  Had Doug not gotten legal advice, he would have fallen prey to immense complexity of laws regarding adolescent sexuality and would be in prison as a child rapist as a punishment for his love affair.

Creepy Actor’s Creepy Marriage Should Be Illegal

Here’s the deal — Hutchison is 51 years old, and his new bride Courtney Alexis Stodden is a mere 16 years old!!! That’s right. She’s just a child and yet their "consensual" marriage to one another is as legal as they come apparently, thanks to none other than Courtney’s own mother!

Way to be a pervy creep and ruin a young girl’s life, Hutchison! Way to look out for your daughter, Moms! Is anyone sane in this really freakish situation?

How do people know that a happy marriage with a mature loving men will ruin a girl’s life? Nowadays, Romeo and Juliet would both be arrested, and the "Blue Lagoon" heroes (t least the boy) would be jailed after their return to "civilization".

Her parents should have been arrested for letting a 51 year old PERVERT MOLEST their MINOR CHILD! Because mo matter how "old" she looks, she is just that…a child! For them to marry means that at some time he was putting the "moves" on her, or even dating her! That is ILLEGAL in most states here! GAG! I JUST THREW UP IN MY MOUTH AT THE THOUGHT! YouTube commentator

Evolutionary psychologist explains

Evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban explains the human propensity to meddle in other people’s private lives, to outlaw victimless sex "crimes"

  1. FIRST comes an inner moral feeling (which usually serves to increase one’s own reproductive fitness).
  2. THEN, after the fact,we find some logical reasoning to justify our moral feelings. We invent victims even if there are none

Kurzban explains how, in a small community, everyone gains reproductive advantage by restricting other people’s sexual liberty.

 

Doug Hutchinson and wife Courtney Stodden in the News

Finding victims where there are none

In the above YouTube video, we see a happy couple with conservative attitudes about virgin marriage. Cruel, anti-teenage sexuality age-of-consent laws frequently destroy such a love affair with cruelty

Thousands of men, and a few women men have their life destroyed in similar situations. A unholy union of religious conservatives and repressive feminists decide, against Álexis’ will, that she is a poor victim. That adolescent Alexis Stoddenis a child [17] that can not consent* to sex. But in some jurisdiction she magically has maturity to consent to sex with boys of similar age, while in other states 2 adolescents are raping each other when engaging in consensual sex. Systematic language manipulation changes the meamings of words like rape*, consent*, child*, pedophile* etc. Our language has been distorted so much, that: had Doug fondled her, before marriage, with full consent, he might have as well raped her forcibly, it would be the same. The same punishment, and the same press reports ("Actor sentenced for raping child"). Doug Hutchinson was wise enough to avoid this, but thousands of men languish in jail for consensual sex with adolescent "children". The Antifeminist has feminism-is-sexual-trade-union-theory to explain such institutionalized cruel interference in private bedroom affairs.

 

‘Green Mile’ Actor Doug Hutchison, 51, Marries Aspiring Singer, 16

"We’re aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial," the couple said in a statement released by their spokesperson. "But we’re very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless."
According to the Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau, both marriage license applicants must be at least 18 years of age. But minors (below the age of 18) are able to obtain a license with the consent of a parent or legal guardian — reasoning that at least one of Stodden’s parents approves of their daughter’s May-December marriage.
Hutchison’s young wife is a former beauty pageant queen and hopes to become the next big thing out of Nashville. Marrying a much older D-list actor is certainly one way to do it — although the couple insists that their union is based purely on genuine love.

We wish the happy Courtney Alexis Stodden and Doug Hutchinson good luck in their planned reality TV show

YouTube Video

Actor Doug Hutchinson marries 16 year old Courtney Stodden

 

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We have always been baffled about "victimization".  The teenage sexuality, child porn, irrational drug prohibition witch hunts are based on victimization theories. These victimization theories are so outlandish, they make the medieval "theory that witches cause hail storm" look like sound science.

First come our preconceived moral judgments. Then we find justifications and victims.

In deciding what other people shouldn’t do, people don’t necessarily start with some principle and go from there. It could have been that moral reasoning was not unlike mathematics-start with a few axioms, and see what follows from them. If people did that, then their moral reasoning would be consistent. Everything follows from the assumptions. But they don’t, or at least, not always.2 

All quotes from:
Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind * (Robert Kurzban)
(p. 188 ff | Kindle Loc. 2322-64)

  1. first comes a moral judgment, like "promiscuity is bad", "creeps who possess child porn photos need to be punished", "having sex with adolescents is disgusting" (or "smoking marijuana is bad"). Some of these judgments stem from evolutionary mental modules hard-wired into our minds. Or course, our culture plays a role here too, especially in how we justify our moralistic feelings
  2. After the fact, after we already decided that sex with nubile adolescent women is heinous, our mental "press secretary" has to come up with socially acceptable justifications  for punishing people for apparently victimless crime.  So our mind is made in ways that it finds justifications for our moral judgments. It comes up with logical reasons. It invents victims that need to be protected

Tiger Woods, hypocrisy, moral condemnation of promiscuity: where are the victims of a billionaire’s secret dalliances? Tiger Woods: why can’t he have open marriage and have fun?

For things like sex-which many people want to do-people are very happy to apply moral principles. They think that decisions about what is right and what is wrong, what should be permitted and what should be banned and punished, should derive from principles. In this case, the principle is freedom or liberty: People ought to be allowed to do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt others.

[…] But that’s not the way people make all moral judgments, and by moral judgments here I don’t mean how people decide what they themselves should do-what their conscience tells them. I mean how people decide what other people ought not to do, what other people should be punished for.1 […]

People seem to judge acts first, and search for justifications and victims afterwards, which strongly suggests that one coherent set of principles isn’t driving moral judgments.

Human-Stupidity suspects that our modern manipulative language distortion stems from such attempts to justify moralistic interference.

Who are you calling a victim?

One way you can tell people make their moral judgments based on nonconscious intuitions is that they can’t explain their own moral judgments, as we’ve seen with Jon Haidt’s work on "moral dumbfounding." People will say that incest is wrong without being able to give any justification for it. Incest is just wrong.

Kurzban is a scientist. He will not argue if incest is right or wrong, He is analyzing the functioning  of the human mind.  He notices that people are totally convinced of the immorality of incestual relationships and can not explain why it is immoral. Even the incestual couple is adult and infertile, it still is wrong.

Many modules seem to cause people to find certain things wrong and to work to prevent others from doing them.Often, people can’t actually tell you the real reason behind those judgments, any more than they can tell you why they think they’re among the best drivers in the country.

Our moral convictions make us find logical explanations and victims at all cost.

We’ve been studying moral intuitions in my lab as well. Peter DeScioli, Skye Gilbert, and I have done some work looking not at moral justifications, but rather intuitions about victimhood. You might think that when people make moral judgments, they first determine if there’s anyone who is a victim-anyone made worse off by the act in question-and use that when they’re making their moral judgment. But we think that for at least some offenses, it’s the other way around.

Researchers got rid of all potential victims from scenarios. If there absolutely can not be a victim, we find a victim anyway

We presented people with a set of "victimless" offenses-things like urinating on a tombstone, burning a flag, cloning a human being, and so on-and asked our subjects if the act was wrong or not. After that, we asked if anyone was harmed by the action. What we found was that almost anyone who said an act was wrong also indicated a victim. But the victims included entities like "humanity," "society," "the American people," "friends of the deceased," "the clone," and so on.

Now, of course it’s possible to argue that somehow these entities really are worse off as a result of the actions. So in a follow-up, we changed the scenarios to get rid of these potential victims. We had a story in which someone urinated on the tombstone of someone with no living family or friends, or a scientist cloned a human being, but the clone was never alive, so couldn’t ever have suffered, felt pain, or worried that she was a clone.
Doesn’t seem to matter. People still judged the acts wrong, and, when they did, they searched for a victim. If the clone wasn’t ever alive, fine, the clone wasn’t the victim: the scientist (somehow) was. If the dead person had no family or friends, "society" was worse off.
People seem to judge acts first, and search for justifications and victims afterwards, which strongly suggests that one coherent set of principles isn’t driving moral judgments.

Here is the explanation for the amazing theories of victimization with child porn, about consensual sex with adolescents being exactly the same as violently raping the same adolescent. These theories actually have become law and terrorize men with long jail sentences.  

OBS: Dr. Kurzban is not responsible for conclusions Human-Stupidity draws from his work.

Immoral judgments aren’t driven by a set of consciously accessible general principles that are applied to particular cases.

 

Evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban explains
how we gain reproductive advantage by moral condemnation of promiscuity and interfering in other people’s sex life

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screen-2011-04-02-06-54-29_thumb[2]Steven Pinker, one of the greatest minds in linguistics and evolutionary science, thoroughly debunks the blank slate theory that still dominates the standard social science model.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a best-selling 2002 book by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of the social sciences. Pinker argues that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. The book was nominated for the 2003 Aventis Prizes and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. (wikipedia)

This tabula-rasa/blank-slate theory is responsible for most serious mistakes in social theories and public policies of the last century in fields like education, discrimination, gender relations. It also is related to rejection of inheritance based evolutionary theory. All this is very central to Human-Stupidity: how can a ridiculously false theory dogmatically dominate science and public policy for decades.

One simple example of always repeated conventional wisdom:

  • “Children that are beaten by violent parents become violent adults”. There usually is no test for the alternative  hypothesis that this has nothing to do with genetics, but that these children could have genetically inherited violent traits from their parents.

Steven Pinker: Chalking it up to the blank slate

 

 


The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

See also real important readings

  1. Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List Leda Cosmides & John Tooby
  2. Evolutionary Psychology: Evolutionary Theory, Paleoanthropology, Adaptationism
  3. Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List | Human-Stupidity.

The Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television

screen-2011-04-02-06-54-29_thumb[2]Steven Pinker, one of the greatest minds in linguistics and evolutionary science, thoroughly debunks the blank slate theory that still dominates the standard social science model.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a best-selling 2002 book by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of the social sciences. Pinker argues that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. The book was nominated for the 2003 Aventis Prizes and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  (wikipedia)

This tabula-rasa/blank-slate theory is responsible for most serious mistakes in social theories and public policies of the last century in fields like education, discrimination, gender relations. It also is related to rejection of inheritance based evolutionary theory. All this is very central to Human-Stupidity: how can a ridiculously false theory dogmatically dominate science and public policy for decades.

One simple example of always repeated conventional wisdom:

  • "Children that are beaten by violent parents become violent adults". There usually is no test for the alternative  hypothesis that this has nothing to do with genetics, but that these children could have genetically inherited violent traits from their parents.

Steven Pinker: Chalking it up to the blank slate

 


The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
See also real important reading
  1. Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List Leda Cosmides & John Tooby
  2. Evolutionary Psychology: Evolutionary Theory, Paleoanthropology, Adaptationism
  3.  Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List | Human-Stupidity.

The Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television

screen-2011-04-02-06-54-29_thumb[2]Steven Pinker, one of the greatest minds in linguistics and evolutionary science, thoroughly debunks the blank slate theory that still dominates the standard social science model.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a best-selling 2002 book by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of the social sciences. Pinker argues that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. The book was nominated for the 2003 Aventis Prizes and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  (wikipedia)

This tabula-rasa/blank-slate theory is responsible for most serious mistakes in social theories and public policies of the last century in fields like education, discrimination, gender relations. It also is related to rejection of inheritance based evolutionary theory. All this is very central to Human-Stupidity: how can a ridiculously false theory dogmatically dominate science and public policy for decades.

One simple example of always repeated conventional wisdom:

  • "Children that are beaten by violent parents become violent adults". There usually is no test for the alternative  hypothesis that this has nothing to do with genetics, but that these children could have genetically inherited violent traits from their parents.

Steven Pinker: Chalking it up to the blank slate

 


The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
See also real important reading
  1. Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List Leda Cosmides & John Tooby
  2. Evolutionary Psychology: Evolutionary Theory, Paleoanthropology, Adaptationism
  3.  Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List | Human-Stupidity.

The Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television


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In this Video, the great Steven Pinker how and why we convey innuendos instead of overt clear language.  Why do we use veiled hidden messages behind our words. The topic is  clarified with nice enlightening drawings by rsa-animate. Must see!

I leave it to the watcher, what this has to do with our favorite topics like dishonesty, unconsciousness,hypocrisy …

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Why do we, in the land of the free, have a prohibition of polygyny, a victimless crime? Why does the law restrict people’s freedom needlessly? Why do consenting adults have many legal restrictions to their sexual liberty? Teenage sexuality is full of legal problems (Consult a lawyer before playing doctor. Perverse sex laws traumatize children).  

Why do we feel a compulsion to meddle in other peoples freedom to form whatever form of marriage or sexual relationship they might want to engage in?

Many women would rather be the second (or fifth) wife of an attractive, rich, powerful man like  Tiger Woods or Brad Pitt, then the first  and only wife of boring, fat, jobless, broke alcoholic Joe Bloke in a Detroit ghetto.  Even just being Tiger’s mistress is much more exciting then Joe Bloke. Why does our law restrict the liberty of these women, and of Tiger Woods?

Repression of other people’s sexuality is in the reproductive interest  of older married women, of unattractive men. Even vor the successful alpha male it is advantagous to repress sexuality in others,  while hypocritically pursuing his own promiscuous sexuality (remember Eliot Spitzer?). 

In this post we show that evolutionary theory suggests evolution has created mental modules in our brains to repress sexuality in others,  The gut feelings caused by these modules get rationalized into theories that give rise to repressive legislation.

Polygyny in birds

When good males are scarce, a female bird may prefer to become the second mate of a higher quality male with a bigger territory.



Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban $27.95 0691146748

(all quotes are from Kurzban’s book. This book is a must-read to really understand this topic here)
  • mating pattern of certain bird species illustrates what’s known as the "polygyny threshold model," which has to do with how female birds choose a mate in certain complex environments. […]

  • Is it better to be the only mate of a poorer male or share a better one?
  • I [a female bird]  can either nest with one of the remaining single – but lower quality- males, or I can nest with a [better high quality] male who is already paired, becoming the second female on his [bigger and better] patch. […]

  • When the payoff to being the second female on a patch is greater then the payoff to being the only mate of an inferior male, there will be polygyny. (Kurzban, pg. 208)

 

Morality for the birds?

To better understand how evolution could have formed modules for anti-polygyny morality, Kurzban analyzes a hypothetical bird population where moral rules prohibit polygyny.  He asks

Which birds stand to gain reproductive advantage when polygyny is prohibited?
  1. "Clearly, female birds already paired with the best male mates will do better. Their mates won’t be able to acquire secondary females whose offspring would compete for the man’s resources." (Kurzban, p 209). Women married with good males have reasons to be feminists. Hillary Clinton only loses if hubby Bill gets entangled with interns. In contrast, Monica Lewinsky probably would have fared very well as Bill Clinton’s second or even fifth wife.
  2. "There’s a natural alliance between monogamously mated females and low quality males because they both gain by enforced monogamy". "low-quality males benefit, since they now might get mates who would otherwise wind up as secondary mates of high-quality males" (Kurzban, p.) In a polygynous animal, primate, or human societies, many low-quality get no wives and no offspring at all. "Low quality males would have a deep, abiding, even crucial interest in rules that force everyone into monogamy" (Kurzban, p 213). Remember, evolution selected for mental modules that gave us reproductive advantage in the EEA, in small groups of hunter-gatherers. It seems that for low quality males, monogamy is the only chance to get a wife, rear  offspring and thus have reproductive success!  Low quality males that successfully prevent the high quality males from monopolizing multiple females would have considerably more offspring then tolerant open minded men who would remain empty handed while the high quality males would get all the females.
  3. Almost all males "benefit from all other males being monogamous, even if they themselves are not [monogamous]? […] "it’s best to constrain others’ sexual behavior. We’re all in favor of moral rule that prevent others from doing things that harm our own interests, but it is to our advantage to not obey our own rule. 
  4. High quality alpha males can profit from imposing monogamy  on other males.  Powerful males have a better chance to remain unpunished if they violate these rules (at least in birds with no feminist dominated court system)
  5. The losers of polygyny prohibition are un-paired females who have to settle for a lower quality male (‘a loser’)  because they are deprived of the freedom to choose to be wife #2 of a high quality male (with better genes, bigger territory, and more resources). 
  6. The other losers  of enforced monogamy are the "cads" the sexy good looking promiscuous players. They are attractive to women for having good genes, but they can’t win the battle over who brings the most worms. "Without promiscuity, sexy males can’t make the most of what they’ve got." (Kurzban, p. 211). 
  7. "Dads, however, win if the sexy males can’t be promiscuous. (They also benefit from keeping their females at home, rather than searching for the good-gene cads)"  (p 211) "Dads" are mated male birds that invest in their family and bring home worms for their kids.
We have an "interfere in other people’s private sex life" mental module.

"Humans are extremely social, and our survival and reproduction are determined in large part by how well we navigate the social world. Given this, it’s reasonable to expect that our minds are designed to compete fiercely-if not subtly- for the benefits in the social world: the best mates, the best friends, membership in the best groups, and so on. The outcomes of these competitions would have had massive effects on reproductive success over the course of human evolution."

So birds, mammals, and humans that increase their reproductive success by restricting other people’s sexual access will out-compete the democratic, personal-liberty-respecting tolerant liberal individuals.

We will post more about Kurzban’s theory of the modular mind, and the evolutionary advantages of internal inconsistency, self-deception, hypocrisy to explain this further. But to get a deep understanding one probably needs to read evolutionary literature

  • Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List | Human-Stupidity
  • Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite (Robert Kurzban) |Human-Stupidity book review
  • Social Evolution by Robert Trivers $40.00 080538507X  (Amazon)

     

    Humans have "moralistic modules designed to favor rules that promote their fitness interests".

    "The hypothetical birds would vote for policies that prevent others from engaging in sex outside mateships and anything else that goes along with promiscuity. "they probably would not know why they were opposed to these practices. Their decision would be based on the output of certain modules designed to limit other people’s promiscuity.  They would be insensitive to arguments about freedom and individual choice, and unaware of being inconsistent. They would probably rationalize this as being ‘pro-family", pro-life. Their resistance against abortion might be based in the desire to punish the females for having sex, and not in the desire to save embryos or in theories about the beginning of life."  (Kurzban)

    "They might be opposed to abortion -the availability of which by reducing the costs of sex, might well be linked to promiscuity" (Kurzban)

    Feminist anti-promiscuity sex laws are also in the reproductive interest of most (hypocritical) males
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    Surveys suggest that less than 15 percent of the online encyclopedia’s hundreds of thousands of contributors are female. […]

    Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women.

    Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be,”  

    Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List

    Is Wikipedia creating a glass ceiling, actively blocking women from participating? Well, or maybe women are different. Or maybe men really are the gender that creates knowledge, wealth, public services, etc?

    I would imagine that if less than 15% of the contributors are women, then much less than 15% of the work is done by women.

    Considering that almost nobody gets paid for Wikipedia, the most obvious thing that can be said about its existence from a gender point of view is that the human race owes a debt of gratitude to the male sex.

    [… men see the point] n working for free to expand access to information for people they don’t know. But blaming any problem, even one as exiguous as women not contributing much unpaid labor to Wikipedia, on women is a no-no, so the fault must lie with “misogynists.”

    Guys Create Wikipedia For Free: That’s A Problem
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    Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban.
    Robert Kurzban is a student of the “modular mind” theory of John Tooby & Leda Cosmides.

    The modular mind

    “The human mind consists of many, many mental processes – think of them as little programming subroutines, or maybe individual iPhone applications – each operating by its own logic, designed by the inexorable process of natural selection”

    “the mind consists of many different parts. These parts often “believe” different, mutually inconsistent things. Sometimes this is obvious, as illustrated in case of brain damage and optical illusions. Other cases are less obvious, but no less interesting.”

    “the different bits of our brain have functions. Just as some of our mind’s subroutines are for seeing, some for processing language, and some for controlling muscles, […] choosing mates, […] making friends, and – one subject I currently study – some with morally condemning others for doing things.”

    With the concept of the modular mind, human irrationality, ignorance and self deception cease to be a confusing riddle.

    “This book is about contradictions. […] It’s about how you can, and one at the same time, want the government to leave people alone as long as they’re not hurting anyone and also very much want the government to interfere with people’s lives even when they’re not hurting anyone.”

    Evolutionary Psychology Primer & Reading List

    The usefulness of being wrong and ignorant

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