ToM, terrorism and proteanism

Abiola has been posting about the possible futility of the “swarthy Middle Eastern male” profiling strategy, noting that rationally a transnational multiracial religio-political-cult would probably simply use operatives who could evade tightly focused radar. This reminded me of the Theory of Mind cognitive adaptation, that is, modelling the minds of other individuals, taking into account deception as well as the fact that they are also accounting for deception on your part, and so forth. The almost random shifting of strategies can also be conceived of as proteanism. ToM and proteanism are pretty vanilla innate tendencies, that is, you don’t have to be a genius to think or behave in a machiavellian & mercurial fashion.

Posted by razib at 02:35 AM

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