reality and group beliefs

creation date: 2020-07-17, latest update: 2020-07-17

There are many ideas/beliefs in the world, but the way for them to spread and sustain themselves follow some rules.

  1. it must have a spread/infect vector. Belief can be beneficial to individual or to the group, combine with network effects work even better.
    • example one: tit-for-tat, both benefits
    • example two: christianity, believing in only "one true god" shuts down other god ideas
    • example three: believing certain idea that gets worse if more people know about it --> idea just die out very quickly.
  2. it must be stable or have equilibrium state. after it gains believers and saturate, it should not suffer from volatility of in-group believers. (must not implode by itself)
  3. it does not need to adhere to reality, as long as the whole group can be convinced to believe in it, and it follows the above two rules.
    • example one: critical theory of race. spread but shutting up non-believers with socially unacceptable labels.

Humans, on average, might not be long-term smart enough to avoid "catastrophic" beliefs (cannot use reason/logic as anti-mind-virus, because they are already close-minded or have low rationality), so must be nudged/pursuaded/fooled away from those beliefs.

Some self-sustaining beliefs

Those beliefs can cause effects (certain preferred values go up/down), but there are no object values.

There are some evidence that once one belief is gone, it must be filled with another, to fill up the void. Religious thought is the most obvious.