poly: Belief divergence to induce emigration?

From: Robin Hanson <hanson@econ.berkeley.edu>
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 11:56:21 PDT

People seem to disagree with each other, even when they're
aware of such disagreement. This is irrational in a certain
sense. Such disagreements are reflected in personal conversations,
and in financial trading, among other places.

Another explanation for such disagreement occured to me. Genes
which were spread across a tribe in ancient times would have wanted
some diversity of a tribe in response to threats. If the tribe
was facing a war, flood, bad winter, etc., the genes might want
some small fraction of the tribe to flee, and have the rest stay
and fight.

Diversity in personal preferences would help, but it might not
be enough. Genes don't want people fleeing willy-nilly, just in
response to a big threat. A more direct way to get diverse responses
would be to have diverse opinions about the severity of the threat.
If a few people have a very extreme opinion about the tribe's
prospects, "We've all going to die!", those people leave, and the
rest stay.

Robin Hanson
hanson@econ.berkeley.edu http://hanson.berkeley.edu/
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Tue Apr 14 19:00:54 1998

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