Re: Selfishness (Was: Re: Polemics for longevity)

From: Menno Rubingh (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 05:48:03 MST

On Sat, 22 Jan 2000, J. R. Molloy wrote:

> When I use the word selfishness, I mean the instinctive, biological,
> congenital behavior that derives from unconscious evolution. To transcend
> biological imperatives, one needs to supplant the biologically-implanted
> selfish gene with a non-biological, inorganic, non-carbon based entity.

OK, I want to transcend my biological limitations just as much as you do. I'm
planning on doing this transceding by means of using also my brains as
one of the 'force' that control me rather letting myself be controlled *only*
by hard-wired 'biological' imperatives.

But I want the 'memes' in my brain to be selfish too -- in the sense that they
further the well-being of the machine { brain + body }. I do not very much
want large conflicts between what my biological urges tell me that's good for
my body (for my genes) and what my memes instruct me to do in the interest of
those memes themselves; I want some form of cooperation between these two
driving forces. Neither the survival of my memes nor the survival of my
genes is the only goal: the goal is the survival and growth of the amalgam
{ brain + body }. [And also + its artificial extensions and + its
'extended phenotype'.]
So I want the compromise between the 'biological' imperatives and the
'memetic' imperatives to lie somewhere in the middle where the ''selfish''
interests of this thing I call ''me'' ( = the amalgam { brain + body } ) are
best served.

In that way, the thing I call ''me'' really *is* selfish: it only strives to
further its own interests, not e.g. those of other intelligent entities also
consisting of agglomerations of a { brain + body }. However, this does not
say that in very many cases the best way to achieve those selfish ends is to
*cooperate with* rather than to fight other people/entities. But seeing that
one is selfish helps one (I think) to see more clearly which kinds of
cooperations are most useful to oneself.

Best greetings, Menno (

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