would strip the world bare like locusts ”. Gandhi was a smart dude.
And just one more alien word to the wise: the flip side of pursuit of relative wealth is also dysfunctional: when you derive satisfaction by causing an enemy to lose more than you lose. The seductiveness of this spite dynamic in the human psyche has accounted for a lot of human history (and misery) and will likely account for a lot more this century. In complex species, one of the larger transitions to sapience involves switching from the pursuit of relative wealth to absolute wealth. If you can meet people who are wealthier than you, healthier than you, and higher status than you, and truly not begrudge them these things nor feel diminished by them, you’re on your way... to both sapience and happiness. For a large downside to relative wealth is that the desire for it can never really be sated. You are all wealthier than the royalty of your kind only a few hundred years ago; if you must insist on relative wealth, appreciate the fact that you’re wealthier than they are. (And for that matter, much wealthier than those who will come after you). It’s funny— the unending pursuit of exosomatic wealth could kill your planet while still leaving your brains starved for the stimulation of “more” and “better”. And a clue to mate- seekers: wealth is allocated pretty much randomly these days. If a person has a car, it just means they have a car... (and it may be leased). I suggest that it would constitute insufficient reason to go through the motions, let alone reproduce.
The Bottom Line: We endlessly pursue physical wealth we don’t really need, for status which shouldn’t really matter. But we all do it.
You (almost) Win!! It’s the Unexpected Reward, Stupid!
Summary: Look under your seat. That’s right! It’s the key to a new car! Just for reading this book, YOU win a new car! (Not really.)
Most of what happens around us each day is predictable, so processing every detail of a familiar habitat not only wastes brain energy but could even become a deadly distraction. Thus, our ancestors living on the African savannah paid little attention to the stable mountains on the horizon but were on alert to movements in the bushes, or by the riverbank. Those
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