I would like to see a phase transition. But the buildup to reach the
tipping point would still be incremental, which is what we are (apparently)
seeing at present. Hopefully this is a sigmoidal curve...

[image: Inline images 1]

Once some "bioterrorist" creates a highly infectious retrovirus that
rewrites human DNA to make us all behave nicely towards each other, that
could be the tipping point!


On 28 October 2013 22:39, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 4:45 AM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I have been under the impression that violence has been decreasing, on
> > average, over historical time, that is to say the proportion of people
> dying
> > violently and being injured by violence has tended to decrease over
> time. I
> > believe the number of wars has decreased over historical time, and
> continues
> > to do so, which I attribute to improved communications. In my opinion it
> > becomes more difficult to demonise an enemy as one is better able to
> contact
> > and communicate with them, so the advent of photography, television, the
> > internet and so on have all incrementally improved the situation.
> >
> > I must admit the evidence I have for this is mainly anecdotal so if
> Stephen
> > Pinker has written on the subject he may have pulled together the
>  various
> > pieces of evidence which I personally have only come across occasionally.
>
> True, but to be honest I tend to believe in a phase transition. Both
> biological evolution, social evolution and maybe even brain activity
> seems to happen in bursts of break-throughs. Per Bak argues that this
> is because these systems exist in a state of self-organised
> criticality -- life at the edge of chaos.
>
> Another reason for this belief of mine is that I think that humans
> are, in a sense, transcendental creatures. One often ignored
> consequence of the theory of evolution is that we became aware of the
> mechanism as a species. This has transcendental potential, because by
> becoming aware of our biological program we can strive to free
> ourselves from some of its dictates. For example, we can see violence
> for what it is, and understand that it's not in our best interest.
> It's in the interest of meta-structures that we serve - species,
> tribes, families, nations and so on.
>
> A speculation of mine: religious fundamentalism superficially rejects
> evolution because it threatens creation myths, but intuitively rejects
> it because its deep consequences are subversive to the fundamentalism
> program.
>
> Telmo.
>
> >
> >
> >
> > On 28 October 2013 13:07, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> On 10/27/2013 2:49 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:
> >>
> >> I have some hope that violence diminishes at higher levels of
> >>
> >> intellectual development.
> >>
> >> I share your hope, but my heart is saddened by how we do not seem to as
> a
> >> species be fulfilling this hope of yours, which I share in.
> >>
> >>
> >> Steven Pinker just wrote book showing that human violence is
> diminishing.
> >>
> >> Brent
> >>
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