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Archive for December 22nd, 2006

Friday, December 22nd, 2006


Unlike radio hosts, bloggers generally don’t do ” best of ” posts but I figured newer readers might find a few old posts interesting and old readers who fired away in the comments section might get their dander up.

Moral Countermeasures Against Anti-Globalization Guerillas

The Borders of our Imagination

Creating a Culture of Mediciexity

The Resilience of Civilizations

Globalization and War Symposium Day I, Day II. and Day III.

Complexity and Connectivity: Bar-Yam Again

Cultivating Strategic Thinking -The U.S. Needs A Foreign Policy DARPA

Understanding Cognition Part I , Part II. and Part III.

On Music and War

The Superempowered Individual

Friday, December 22nd, 2006



Dan of tdaxp has a great series, The Wary Guerrilla, that he has been running this week where he continues his exploration of the evolutionary influences on political behavior. The series so far:

1. Abstract

2. Terrorism

3. Predictions

An excerpt:

“In some economic games, income, education, small town origin, and sex (female) increases empathy (Sautter, 2006). Men may be more favorably disposed to cooperators than females (Price, 2006) but also are less empathetic toward punished cheaters (Singer et al., 2006). Players in general are generous to helpless fellows (Oppewal & Tougareva, 1992). Likewise, there are robust distinct player types of altruists, free-riders, and generally cooperative people (Kurzban & Houser, 2005). Players reject small offers rarely but more than would be predicted by game theory (Eckel, Johnson & Wilson, 2002). Along with this, players often give more than should be expected (Thaler, 1989; Fong & Bolton, 1997). The operating assumption is that these behaviors will be exhibited by wary guerrillas, as both wary guerrillaism and these traits appear to be expressions of a pro-social orientation. Thus we propose the the following hypotheses:

1.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with small town origin

2.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with income

3.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with sex

…While specific religions are sometimes associated with violence in the minds of people (Abrahamian, 2002; Gerges, 1997), perhaps the real determinant is general religiosity. Ancient religious terror groups were very highly organized (Rapoport, 1984) and their analogues still exist (Rapoport, 1988). Religion has played a major role in both successful and failed liberation struggles against powerful states (Bosch, 1974; Rapoport, 1979; Husband 1988) and has been offered as a possible cause of suicide terrorism (El Sarraj & Butler, 2002). Additionally, among religious traditions where an alternative to faith is eternal damnation, religiosity may be correlated with riskier behavior (Miller, 2000). Logically, religion may indicate non-secular preferences (Euben, 2002) or secular preferences working on religious themes. Religiosity may enable even rational actors to behave in apparently irrational ways (Iannaccone, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998). The Wary Guerrilla is an obvious candidate for a type that would engage in this behavior.”

Read the whole thing here.

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