21 Dec 2023
At Kintro, we believe that people can be compelled to help each other, that lending a helping hand, or soliciting one, will in the future become commonplace.
People help each other for two primary reasons:
Identity is the foundation of our thesis. It’s the intrinsic motivator that compels action.
Economics is the framework. It’s the logical nugget for our Cortex to cling to in justifying the actions our Limbic systems want us to take.
Predisposition to cooperate
You’ve heard it many times before - we’re social animals. The formative years of human evolution were all prior to ‘civilisation’. Humans who cooperated with each other, who helped each other, survived. Those that did not, died out.
This characteristic is the lynchpin of our success as a species. We’re hardwired this way, predisposed to cooperate with our community. Neuroscience is fraught with literature showing that blood Dopamine levels (the hormone most-responsible for feelings of happiness, drive and satisfaction) increase dramatically when we do selfless things, like helping other people. In other words, humans have a neurochemical bias to be amenable to helping each other.
Importantly, however, this cooperative bias is constrained by the presence or lack of shared identity. Formative evolution engendered cooperation with our community members - the people we foraged, hunted and lived with - but equally wrapped up in this is the tribalist nature to protect our own from the outside world.
We have a neurochemical predisposition to help people in our community, who we share identity with, and an equally-strong predisposition to push out those people with whom we have nothing in common.
The Cortex serves the Limbic system
For the cynics out there who might be rolling your eyes at the mushy notion that people are naturally inclined to help each other, here’s part 2 of Help Theory:
Contrary to popular belief, our Cortex serves our Limbic system - not the other way around.
We like to think that ‘we’ are in control. That our conscious intelligence makes the decisions, and our feelings follow. But in truth, the opposite is true.
Our feelings, our Limbic system, is far older, far more primal than the activity taking place in our Cortex. Feelings are our base instinct.
Our thinking, logical brain - the Cortex - developed during formative evolution as a tool to better serve our base instincts, our feelings. All that logic horsepower is really just working to make us feel good… And it’s very, very good at it’s job.
So platforms that tap exclusively into our Limbic systems - for example a community-building platform that relies entirely on the good nature of humans to drive engagement and help each other - will at some point encounter resistance from the thinking, planning Cortex. It shows up and says ‘I like to help other people because Karma comes back around… But I’m not seeing any benefit for me in constant altruism, so I’m going to stop helping these people.’
There needs to be another element to these platforms - an element that satisfies the Cortex’s desire to make you feel good.
Community and money
At Kintro, we believe that if you can earn money by helping your community, we can satisfy the objectives of both the Limbic system and the Cortex.