Monday, July 17, 2006

Laughing Our Way to Genius

On Friday, during a talk I was at on “The Principles of Economics that Aren’t Taught in The Principles of Economics”, I was struck by a question that arises directly from reading Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal over the past couple of weeks (I’ll be blogging more about this excellent and fascinating book soon). Why, from the standpoint of evolutionary psychology, does laughter help us learn? And more generally, why do we learn the way we do, and what is the evolutionary basis for that?

So, my my new idea for the book I want to write (which will likely get filed away beside my other not-yet-started-and-unlikely-to-get-started-anytime-soon book idea “The Libertarian Environmentalist”) is what can evolutionary psychology teach us about how to best teach our kids? Hmmm…Next summer’s grant proposal? But how can I justify going to Patagonia/Nepal/BC/Alaska to study it?


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