Family: Indirect Involuntary Exposure to Ideas Good and Bad

Belonging to a family means having indirect involuntary exposure to ideas good and bad:

  • Your uncle might be a dogecoin degen.
  • Your (distant) relatives are asking your parents for money--they are always "starting a business" or asking them to fund their next idea
  • An entire branch of your family are full of accomplished engineers and artists

One could make a graph. It would be bidirectional:

  • edges are weighted
  • positive influences are positive numbers
  • negative influences are negative numbers
  • multiplying force by how much time each node spends w other nodes

You could totally navigate your family by--

  • traversing the edges, finding nodes
  • developing stronger ties with the positive nodes
  • rationing negative ties / strategically send back positive energy

Your family is a built in insurance policy against rainy days. This was evolutionarily beneficial.

  • contribute to the rainy day bucket during ordinary times
  • draw from the bucket during trying times

The fam has to have a verification mechanism to guard against fraud--this is what culture / religion is for.

Does this mean over time culture converges?

Ok, but where do black sheep go? Why do biological family have black sheep--what is the advantage there (from an evolution standpoint?) Not clear, but they should have all died off. There should be no black sheep of the family.

vin diesel

Unless. Black sheep are there to guard against groupthink.

As an aside-- Individuals are so revered in modern American culture, yet human beings are basically wired to be the same / overwhemlingly group-thinking, socially bound by rules of family/religion type people. Like who really is uniquely individual? Every "Successful Individual" drives a lambo...

We worship individuals but talented individuals self-aggregate and come from a collective pool of other talented individuals. All tech bros know each other. Same with comedians. Musicians seem to self-select.

No man is an island, but when you pee, you're a nation.

Family tries very hard to make you one of them. If you think/act too differently you should lose your privilege of accessing family resources. The trick is to be yourself while being part of the group.

Being self-reliant is a good strategy. To be a part of the group while being different--

  • don't draw from the collective pool of resources
  • actually contribute to the pool.