[-empyre-] ethology?

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sat Nov 15 07:42:21 EST 2014

Hi Alan --

> - And I wonder, why isn't sociobiology on the table here? It seems to me that
> violence is ingrained in being-human; although there are exceptions, most of
> human history seems bathed in blood. For me, part of the question does involve
> empathy - how can we so identify with the other, that the torture stops? And

The balance between the violence and empathy probably have a break point at the 
number 150 -- the 'average' maximum number of relations that the human brain is 
evolved to be mindful of -- the clan-based society... Empathy can extend no 
further than that (perhaps), except in extraordinary circumstances (Jesus, 
Buddha, etc)...

The rest of those outside the 150 are simply challengers of my use of resources 
that I employ to optimize the reproducibility of my clan (unless there is an 
attractive gene-pool-mixing opportunity 'out there').  Those may have to be 
taken by force.

What genetic evidence is there of altruism that extends beyond clan? I know 
there has been some research in that regard, but my phenomenological 
observations suggest that humans are, on average and in aggregate, unable to 
make altruistic decisions on a wide scale (global warming seems to be one 
example)... Decisions can be made on a smaller scale when conditions pressure 
such, but otherwise, resource consumption and nest-soiling tendencies are not 
immediately impinging on quality of life, so, who cares?

and so on...

Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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