September 3, 2019

EVEN THE ACCUSATION IS A SIGNAL:

'Virtue Signalling' May Annoy Us. But Civilization Would Be Impossible Without It (Geoffrey Miller, 9/03/19, Quillette)

We all virtue signal. I virtue signal; you virtue signal; we virtue signal.

And those guys over there, in that political tribe we don't like--they especially virtue signal. (Just as they believe that we do.)

Let's not pretend otherwise. We are humans, and humans love to show off our moral virtues, ethical principles, religious convictions, political attitudes and lifestyle choices to other humans. We have virtue signaled ever since prehistoric big-game hunters shared meat with the hungry folks in their clan, or cared for kids who weren't their own. Our descendants will continue to virtue signal to each other in Mars colonies, and on spaceships heading for other star systems. As humans colonize the galaxy, virtue signaling will colonize the galaxy.

The phrase "virtue signaling" only became popular with the 2016 American election. Yet virtue signaling goes back millions of years, to the origins of human morality. And I've had a love/hate relationship with virtue signaling ever since high school.

Posted by at September 3, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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