What Can You Learn About ‘The Green New Deal’ from Thanksgiving?
Research has now revealed that from the age of three, toddlers don’t forget a debt.
Does that strike you as odd? Why would toddlers even recognize the concept of “debt,” let alone not forget one? Have AmEX, VISA, Capital 1 and MasterCard already gotten to them?
Clearly it’s not the credit industry that explains this. At such an early age, genetics must be involved. But why would Mother Nature give us an instinctive genetically specified understanding of “debts” — and the capacity to remember them — as early as toddler-hood?
She must have had very very good reasons.
The interesting thing is that you have certainly experienced the results of this gift from Mother in your adult life and they’re very important if usually under-appreciated, particularly because they tend to be subliminal and instinctive rather than explicit. For example, you know who needs to buy the next round of drinks — and which soccer mom needs to drive this week.
You may consciously work out a schedule or not, but everyone takes a turn or there will be problems.
Once you consider such things, they seem rather normal and deceptively mundane, but keep in mind that Mother Nature had to go to a lot of trouble over a long period of time to make things seem that way.
But why would Mother take the time and trouble to give us that innate understanding of debt — and apparently a little subliminal accounter app to keep track of it?
The answer starts with the fact that, as suggested by Rosseau and others, compared to other organisms, we humans are born largely “tabula rasa,” that is as “blank slates,” and so rather than being born with most of our behaviors and knowledge, we have to acquire them later.
For example, while hoofed animals can walk within a few minutes of birth and run soon after, it takes us approximately three months to learn to merely crawl.
That means that like us, nearly all our ancestors’ key knowledge, skills and behaviors had to be acquired by experience, or, preferably, by learning from someone else. Learning from someone else avoids the many dangers of learning by experience — and the monumental handicap of continually needing to reinvent the wheel.
The fact that we don’t inherit our key knowledge, skills, information, and behaviors means that each one of us becomes a depository of different, often unique — and sometimes critical — information, skills, knowledge — and particularly, experience. And these exist only in our individual brains.
This dispersion of unique knowledge and experience means the essential human data-base and operating system is spread out and distributed among all the individuals around us.
Madrigal knows which herbs help heal wounds — and how to find and use them. Gaud can always find that hidden water-hole during the semi-annual desert crossing.
But our ancestors had a problem we don’t have: They were indeed pre-historic — that is, they existed before writing was available to write his-story down in black and white.
The loss of either Madrigal or Gaud could be catastrophic to everyone. Ditto the loss of other group members and their special knowledge, information and experience.
Mother Nature — or as some like to call Her “The Theory of Biological Evolution by Natural Selection” — wasn’t oblivious to this problem and so gave us an appropriate and nearly unique set of behaviors which prod us to keep each other alive. By convention, folks call these behaviors “altruism.”
But altruism creates its own problems. Anthropologist, scholar, and all-around mensch Christopher Boehm puts it this way:
“How can cheerful, altruistic cooperators, people guided by generous feelings and positive expectations about cooperation, avoid being exploited by lazy slackers and outright cheaters, or by opportunistic bullies who take advantage of situations by force?” –Christopher Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest, p. 212″
The problems with “lazy slackers” and “outright cheaters” taking advantage of generous productive folks are fairly obvious. Opportunistic bullies who take advantage of situations by force — or as we call them, psychopaths — are a much bigger problem, especially when they congregate and morph themselves into permanent “leaders.” And/or governments.
None-the-less — since they all have similar effects — slackers, cheaters, bullies and bullying leaders are all usually called “free-riders” by population geneticists. So the population geneticists and others rightly ask, “How can altruistic genes survive when beset by free riders of all kinds?”
In other words, how can altruists — who are intent on keeping the data-base intact by keeping everyone alive — keep from being bled dry and rendered extinct by free-riders — who are only too happy to take advantage of their altruistic tendencies?
Thus our data-dependent ancestors had to solve two competing
Article from LewRockwell