Thursday, September 04, 2003

“You ‘know’ in your limbic brain. The seat of instinct. The mammalian brain. Deeper, wider, beyond logic. That is where advertising works, not in the upstart cortex. What we think of as ‘mind’ is only a sort of jumped-up gland, piggybacking on the reptilian brainstem and the older mammalian mind, but our culture tricks us into recognizing it as all of consciousness. The mammalian spreads continent wide beneath it, mute and muscular, attending its ancient agenda. And makes us buy things”
( William Gibson in ‘Pattern Recognition’)


A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. If the elite moves the herd faster, it seperates from the slowest. And which are then attacked? Apparently altruistic behaviour propogates itself by perpetuating the rich set of interactions that give rise to it.

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