Temporarily, maybe (?). Anyway, this is an exciting revelation because it explains a great deal about European history (and here I hadn’t mentioned associative horizon for almost a week).
My sister-in-law mentioned this study a while back, so I’m glad I ran into it again for to get us started today.
The second study had the aim of seeing whether the sociological differences between rice farmers and wheat farmers have led to differences in mental makeup. When 1,162 Han Chinese performed a series of mental tasks, the results differed according to whether the participants came from rice-farming regions or wheat-farming regions (Talhelm et al., 2014).
When shown a list of three items, such as “train”, “bus”, and “tracks”, and told to choose two items that pair together, people from rice-farming regions tended to choose “train and tracks,” whereas people from wheat-farming regions tended to choose “train and bus.” The former seemed to be more abstract in their thinking and the latter more relational. This pattern held up even in neighboring counties along China’s rice-wheat border. People from the rice side of the border thought more relationally than did people from the wheat side.
A second task required drawing pictures of yourself and your friends. In a prior study, Americans drew themselves about 6 mm bigger than they drew their friends, Europeans drew themselves 3.5 mm bigger, and Japanese drew themselves slightly smaller. In the present study, people from rice regions were more likely than people from wheat regions to draw themselves smaller than they drew their friends. On average, people from wheat regions self-inflated 1.5 mm, and people from rice regions self-deflated -0.03 mm.
A third task required imagining yourself doing business with (i) an honest friend, (ii) a dishonest friend, (iii) an honest stranger, and (iv) a dishonest stranger. This person might lie, causing you to lose money. Or this person might be honest, causing you to make money. You could reward or punish this person accordingly. A previous study found that Singaporeans rewarded friends much more than they punished them. Americans were much more likely to punish friends for bad behavior. In this study, people from rice regions were more likely to remain loyal to friends regardless.
Interestingly, these findings came from people with no connection to farming at all. They grew up in a modern urban society, and most were too young to have known the China that existed before the economic reforms of the late 1970s. It looks like rice regions have favored hardwiring of certain psychological traits: less abstract thinking and more relational thinking, less individualism and more collectivism, and less impartiality toward strangers and more favoritism toward kin and friends.
Do Chinese People Get Bored Less Easily?
Whole article is interesting, so I’d recommend a once-over out of general interest. The funny thing is that I got this wonderful idea in the shower after eating a gigantic pastry. Yeah, I know it’s basically poison. I come up with all these great ideas about how to live and this is a glimpse at how well I follow through :-/.
If you think about it for a while, you’ll find associative horizon explains all of the current observations on wheat. Among gifted aspies, it predisposes us temporarily to increased psychosis, solipsism (ordinary people are always paying attention to the environment, whereas aspies seem to just pop in briefly to take stock of things), synesthesia, abstraction, creative obsession, idealism, universalist ethics, and insensitivity to nonverbal communication…basically all this stuff. Furthermore, traditional European society can be succinctly described as “cro magnons with heightened associative horizons”. The history of wheat cultivation coincides heavily with written history and civilization in general. Tongue-in-cheek, I could accurately describe civilization as an accidental, happy symptom of mass hypo-psychosis.
Because cro magnons (ordinary whites, in edenic parlance) have very narrow associative horizons to begin with, along with average intelligence and conscientiousness, the addition of a little psychosis actually boosts them- in the main- into a relatively positive, productive configuration of these Big Three traits. Otherwise, they will not tolerate thal behavior (creative genius) in their midst:
The dissociative window is also connected to the strictness of cultural norms. Cro Magnons have a very tight dissociative window, and are hence always getting offended when the tribal norms are violated. The resulting punitive behavior can seem bewildering in its cruelty, but that is because those with larger dissociative windows cannot take seriously what they view as non-existent offenses.
Now, it’s important to mention that increased associative horizon isn’t for everyone. Aspies are already rocking an imagination that’s out of control, so increases to this general trait are unhealthy and distracting unless they are accompanied by a concomitant increase in conscientiousness (and probably also intelligence). The flip side of this is that increased psychoticism actually seems to give us a leg up in abstract, g-loaded subjects like philosophy and math. As an example, I got out of the shower after coming up with this idea, scribbled down some thoughts, and opened up the Neanderhall on my phone (dopamine-seeking behavior). Seeing no new posts, I flipped to a speculative economics post by podrag, which I’d been unsuccessfully grappling with the previous day (and it was still on my mind). In a state of heightened psychosis, grokking it was a breeze. A surprising success, and a relatively extraordinary one. (This observation, and looking back on old memories with similar endings, is why I think the psychological effect of wheat is in the diet, and not in the farming.)
What I get from this is that the ideal situation, for thals, is to take a society full of otherwise average people and feed them wheat so they appreciate thal contributions (and continue to enjoy the collective martial benefits of associative horizon), while thals themselves abstain from wheat and eat mostly meat, veggies, and dairy. There is, of course, a time for thals to temporarily increase their general psychosis: the hypomanic weekend. The rest is merely details and trial and error. Obsessive creativity and psychotic reading habits are much more efficient and effective than conscientious ones, especially in g-loaded, abstract subjects…provided one is making a decent paycheck during the week. As I’ve been able to show in recent months, the best strategy is to set aside a little bit of time for psychotic madness each day and then BIG CHUNKS of psychotic madness on off days. Wheat has some really bad side effects that linger for a couple of days, but that’s covered under “details”.
BAM! Genius. How ya like me now, ivory tower? Suck my flaming ginger dick, whores.