Human Behavior and the Maximization of Utility
My idea is that all of our most basic instincts regarding our behavior were selected for because they work to increase some general indicator of our well being.
My idea is that all of our most basic instincts regarding our behavior were selected for because they work to increase some general indicator of our well being, which we can call utility. Thus, I should be able to formulate a model, perhaps using game theory, showing how our behaviors work to maximize utility. Specifically, I am interested in a subset of the choices we make regarding behavior, which would be the set of choices we make regarding how we treat other people; you might call this morality or ethics. In any case, it seems to me that these traits must have been selected for during the early development of our species in order to maximize some indicator of utility, perhaps what biologists call inclusive fitness. I am an economist, so I hope to model these behaviors using game theory or perhaps a maximization with constraints model.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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