Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cyber Tooth Tigers

If you have not read Nate Hagens' latest post on The Oil Drum, I highly recommend that you do.

Also, right click on the image to the right and open it in a new window for a higher resolution view of the scene. Nate has the following caption under his version of this pre-historic montage:

"Dumbo, caught obsessing about higher planetary CO2, did not leave any descendants"

The point being that in so far as evolution is concerened, worrying about the here-and-now trumps concern over the far off future and the many what-if's that populate it.

Nate provides an excellent discussion regarding "future discounting", this being an aspect of human nature, and indeed of most mammalian brains, to give much less weight to things that might happen in the far off future.

In other words, if your gas tank is near empty and you are on the open highway late at night, your pressing worry is over making it to the next gas station. You are not focused on how perhaps, your burning of the last gallon of gasoline will increase Global Warming or how it may send the world over the top of Hubbert's Peak. You're focused on just making it through the next hour.

The topic here is directed to a different aspect of the Saber Tooth Tiger picture above.

Note that the tiger is taking advantage of Dumbo's neural weighing system. Like all mammals, Dumbo has a nervous system that attaches variable weights to different inputs.

I want to warn you about another kind of tiger, not a Saber Tooth Tiger, but rather about the Cyber Tooth Tigers out there. ... To be Continued

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