Monday, November 15, 2010

Prelude To Evolutionary Economics Analysis

Economics is a science observing about human behavior in fulfuling their daily and future needs. Therefore I say that if we learn Economics only through old wisdom of Economics founders, plain maths and models, we are doomed to commit one of the deadliest sin of economics, that is a wrong baseline assumption, because we have not factored in the hidden driving forces, eg: the irrationality, egocentrism/selfness and the limitation of human decision making capability.

We know that the strongest chain is only as strong as its weakest chain, therefore not counting above mentioned factors (human weakest chain) will result in overestimation of economic model that will breaks if its weakest link had been severed.

Economics is a product of human culture, it is adaptive to the change of environment but it also suffers imperfection, for example: inequality of value between human male and female from traditional lenses compared to modern lenses, therefore we also need to understand how it evolve to its present state (I will attempt to dissect it in future blogs to come).

Human, as any other organisms, will pursue the following:

1. (Behavior #1) Nutrients via working, to satisfy his/her hunger and thirst, very powerful instinct, has reptilian origin, can cause failure of "advanced reasoning" and "social structure" if this requirement is denied. If it's constantly denied, then it is even possible for a society to deteoriate to the point of cannibalism, but it is an extreme case or perhaps requires a collective of aberrant individual behavior to make it happen, but yes, modification of eating behavior is possible.

Usually male had to do the dangerous-hunt while female do the food gathering from surrounding environment. In advanced society, this separation of job between sex become blurred, and human male or female will be doing things not related to food gathering, but to perform specific task which society requires them to do, eg: clerk, engineers, etc, but the end result is still the same.

2. (Behavior #2) Sexual Procreation, to produce future offspring, very powerful instinct that governs intra-species behavior especially for human in their sexually active period, this is also a reptilian origin aiming to preserve one' genes, in human however it is also aimed to make sure that in their old age there will be successor to take care their daily needs.

Different sex in the human species responded differently to this issue:

a. The male objective function is to make out to as many fittest females as they can find, subject to other male competition and behavior #1.
  • Male had to impress female with his "peacock tails" such as physical shape (to guarantee healthy offspring), brain (to guarantee skilled offspring) and niceness (to guarantee a socially-fit offspring). Strange it may seems, but human indirectly promote "Survival of the nicest", where the niceness is emphasized as the fittest traits/important feature in human reproduction selection.
  • In order to make as many offspring as possible, human male will try make out with as many female as possible (implicating for less commitment), but this strategy met the constraints from female reproduction "filters" that looks for male with high commitments, so this is a limiting factors for human procreation speed.
  • Under primitive and undemocratic social structure however, this "female filters" can be "silenced" / "suppressed" socially. This can be observed via religious/old texts which generally depicts one to many male to female relationship, but not the other way around.
b. Female objective function is to deny reproduction excessive behavior because it can result in their death due to giving birth.
  • Reproduction phase also drain female wealth because she had to re-allocate her assets for her offspring. So it is natural for Female to require male financial compensation and/or commitment in form of "life-long pair-bonding" for the reproduction risk and other financial risk female had to take.
  • Female had to impress male too tough, some of the possible way are: feminim physical appearance (to guarantee fertility), showing niceness and cleverness (to guarantee nurturing for child). In some not so rare case however the "unfit" and "deviant" female may seek for "assets-to-sexual" transfer for their survival, or as strange it may seems, female who have left the financial dependencies stage, may choose to raise a human child not of their own genes.
    3. (Behavior #3) Rests, leisure and social act, human value their leisure time so much, free to do what he wants other than behavior #1 and #2. This is very obviously observed in human-child, which have not entered behavior #1 and #2, and is also keenly observed in human capability of "humor" and "arts" (has no real economic value). This behavior gave rise to mammalian higher thought, for example: tribal tradition, local culture, which usually tied to bloodlines and further forming complex and abstract social structure, for example: the concept of nations, race, religion, which had nothing to do with bloodlines.

    • This drive is real, almost all human dream of having everything they want within their finger snap ("right here & right now!"), they don't want to do the dirty work, often if it is required, force other human to do the job for them. Slaves are excellent depiction of this, where the slave owner, the powerful minority, gains wealth through the effort of their slaves. Denying this pursue of rest and leisure will in the long-run resulted in individual reduced life time, and in short-run, the reduction of productivity and a possibility of "coordinated revolt" between human classes.

    Darwinian it may look like, but it's how Economics later had progressed from this simple but evolving structures. This articles attempt to lie down the basic building blocks for human behavior so we can have further economic construct.

    PS: All above are my individual commentaries which arrived to its present state through amalgamation of reading and observations. In attempt to analyze human, I deliberately choose to be a non-human observer, hopefully this could create a more objective review and analysis.

    I'll continue further after I take a rest.. :)

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