Re: poly: Why Oldies Stations?

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 10:48:48 PST

Robin Hanson writes:
> >Of course, the real question once we begin to get somewhere with our
> >answers to this question is what to do about it. Can we extend the
> >exploring period through some means? Is it a good idea? What kind of
> >"annealing schedule" of lifestyle changes works best for humans?
> I don't think we can know much about whether its a good idea or how to
> change it until we understand what function this behavior serves.

Its hard to know whether or not it has an evolutionary purpose per
se, given that our distant ancestors tended to die in their 20s

I could produce plenty of "just so" stories (to use the term of
contempt Dawkins has for them), like "avoiding unfamiliar foods would
have kept our ancestors from dying by eating poisonous or otherwise
harmful things", but it isn't clear (without substantial research)
which of these is actually anywhere near the truth.

It is clear, however, that the world has changed dramatically enough
from the time of the emergence of our species on the planet that
optimal strategies have probably shifted. As you note, without knowing
what the reason for the original strategies was (assuming the
phenomenon is real, and assuming it isn't an accident!) we cannot know
if it is a good idea to alter them.

Received on Fri Apr 3 18:51:13 1998

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