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Old 01-19-2010, 05:57 PM   #28
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
Re: Hormonal & Psychological Responses to Combat

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
No and with equal respect -- you have not -- and could not. I measure men as amenable to the idea of killing by the history of training them for it in WWII. They were (with only ~ 1 in 200 defaulters) readily trainable to killing -- 12 weeks of basic and then some months of advanced. The infamous "90-day wonders" for OCS. Ten million of them. I suspect that the contemporary bias of assumption to the contrary (a basis for statistical error) betrays a particular moment in history -- not an enduring change in human nature. People report what they think other people want to hear -- because self-reporting of violent tendencies is prejudged, and widely held to be aberrant now (both the self-reporting and the tendencies). It was not always so, and therefore the confirmation bias in the sampling is in play as a an indeterminate error bar (but presumptively large, because it is systemic).
"Enduring change in human nature?" Again Eric your statements are nothing but assumptions coupled with generalizations about polling and statistics 101. I notice you only make these assumptions when they serve your 'argument"

More critically, while statistics matter in the efficient conduct of war -- war is fundamentally neither an efficient nor a statistical enterprise. It is a contingent and messy business, and it has ever been so. "For behold I saw that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time and chance happeneth to them all."
Stating the obvious here and again your generalization does not refute our argument...

Is this a Darwinian argument or an argument of rationale choice? While optimality can be judged externally, internally it is not so clear as a rational "survival" matter -- if one takes the individual rational perspective on survival. Maximum chance requires maximum risk -- which is a paradox for the individual rational survivalist. In game theory terms, the war hero risking all for his own guys is a supercritical case of the 'prisoner's dilemma' -- the only optimal outcome involves complete mutual trust at the risk of one's own life -- and if that is not "love" -- what is ?
In a word...instinct...See Hoffer, Skinner, Pavlov, Jung, Gould, and a host of a hundred other real thinkers on the subject.

Not all myths are Western -- or Romantic -- and some are even true..
With all due respect...congrats on your ability to rationalize your position.

I am done...Feel free to enjoy the last word.

William Hazen
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