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SIMSOC  January 2007

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Subject:

Emergence of norms and beliefs

From:

Keith Henson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Keith Henson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 17:33:47 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (38 lines)

At 08:38 PM 1/13/2007 +0100, Virginia wrote:

>Hi Rafael, Maarten, all,
>I agree with all you say. The point is to use cognitive agents in 
>simulations. As there are several theories of human cognition,

snip (interesting discussion)

I have never worked in social simulation, but was familiar with system 
dynamics from the early 1970s and with agents since the first Artificial 
Life conference in 1986.  I don't have a bias toward one or the other; both 
are attempting to model reality and to the extent they succeed, the results 
of each approach should be similar within error bounds.

Something you might consider is modeling agents as the result of a deeper 
layer of agents, namely genes.  This is the evolutionary psychology 
approach which states that all human psychological traits are either the 
direct result of selection or a side effect of some trait that was directly 
selected.  (Keeping inclusive fitness in mind.)

My experiences with a cult ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson ) 
eventually led me to writing a paper on how wars happen through the 
intermediary step of xenophobic meme amplification.

Not considering perturbations, rising population in hunter gather bands 
eventually made the future game and berry prospects look grim.  That 
activated evolved brain mechanisms to turn up the gain on circulating 
xenophobic memes.  Those xenophobic memes eventually synched up the 
warriors for a do or die attack on neighbors.

Win or lose, there were fewer mouths to feed.  In the worse case, all the 
males of one band were killed and the band's young women became booty.  So 
the genes for these traits went on even when the band was wiped out.

Anyway, I think simulations based on humans viewed as having a long stone 
age evolution would be a really interesting approach.

Keith Henson

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