Robin Hanson sets out descriptions of two different types of people in a post this morning:
TYPE *A* folks . . . love nature, travel, and exploration, and they move more often to new communities. . . . They talk openly about sex, are more sexually promiscuous, and more accepting of divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and pre-marital and extra-marital sex. They have fewer kids, who they are more reluctant to discipline or constrain.
. . . .
TYPE *B* folks travel less, and move less often from where they grew up. They are more polite and care more for cleanliness and order. They have more self-sacrifice and self-control, which makes them more stressed and suicidal. They work harder and longer at more tedious and less healthy jobs, and are more faithful to their spouses and their communities.
These types correspond–roughly but well–to the cultural divide in the West. They also correspond to the divide between farmers and foragers.
Type As, the foragers, do well in times of plenty when providing for minimum needs is easy. Type Bs, the farmers, do better in lean times, when strong communities and being able to provide for oneself and one’s family is difficult and thus paramount. Has the West’s prosperity for the last half-century or so has made Type As dominant? If anything, at least in the United States, Type Bs were politically dominant. If the forager-against-farmer dichotomy is correct, why? Was it the fear of imminent destruction by the Soviets or the memories of the Great Depression and the World Wars that made the farmers ascendant? If so, will fear of terrorism or environmental apocalypse keep them ascendant?
Hanson will be blogging about the types this week. I’m looking forward to it.