Kyle draws my attention to these lines from Robin Hanson, who calls “our era the most consistently and consequentially deluded and unadaptive of any era ever:”

When they remember us, our distant descendants will be shake their heads at the demographic transition, where we each took far less than full advantage of the reproductive opportunities our wealth offered.  They will note how we instead spent our wealth to buy products we saw in ads that talked mostly about the sort of folks who buy them.  They will lament our obsession with super-stimili that highjacked our evolved heuristics to give us taste without nutrition.   They will note we spent vast sums on things that didn’t actually help on the margin, such as on medicine that didn’t make us healthier, or education that didn’t make us more productive.

[ . . . ]

Perhaps most important, our descendants may remember how history hung by a precarious thread on a few crucial coordination choices that our highly integrated rapidly changing world did or might have allowed us to achieve, and the strange delusions that influenced such choices.  These choices might have been about global warming, rampaging robots, nuclear weapons, bioterror, etc.  Our delusions may have led us to do something quite wonderful, or quite horrible, that permanently changed the options available to our descendants.  This would be the most lasting legacy of this, our explosively growing dream time, when what was once adaptive behavior with mostly harmless delusions become strange and dreamy unadaptive behavior, before adaptation again reasserted a clear-headed relation between behavior and reality.


And then I come upon this, courtesy of Thrillist :
Eerie, but true: somebody out there looks just like you. Find out who with the Coke Zero Facial Profiler : a next-level social networking tool that uses law enforcement-level analysis to find your doppelganger, wherever he/she/it might be. Seriously — it does this, and lets you contact them too.

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Articles by James Poulos

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