Culture overrules nature

My kids (2 and 5 years old) are fighting over a tv show; the one likes it, the other one wants to watch something else. What do I do: Do I make them figure out a way to come to an agreement, or do I just give them each a separate screen?

Our society is based on a strategy of cooperation; working together, rather than each for ourselves. That’s why our (internal) culture upholds values like empathy, respect and selfishness.

My kids show little or no sign of such values yet…

And that’s how culture works: it overrules nature. We socialize our children to control their greed, selfishness and other traits that are non-favorable for a steady society.

What I notice though, is that the technologies that are currently emerging from Silicon Valley seem to encourage non-cooperative behavior, and reducing the need for cooperation. In my case: giving children each a separate screen.

I expect that this could have an effect on our society.

But is that a bad thing?