Bob Owen wrote (amongst other things):
> Hello Emlyn,
> You see, it isn't really necessary to implement a social policy of bad
> memecide; just don't interfere with their self-destruction. If you want
> progress, you need winners. Losers are merely collateral damage. It's
> not a question of reveling in this -- one soberly accepts it as an
> unavoidable cost of doing business. I do question whether it ought
> to be deductible.
The basic problem with the self-destruction of the losers is that the "self"
part seems less than evident on inspection. One observes rather often that
the destruction wrought apon an individual or organisation is not self
inflicted, it is inflicted quite explicitly by another more powerful party.
Something else that I take issue with is that the "Losers are merely
collateral damage". We are not at war. These losers are for the greatest
part actual people, and losing can mean all kinds of suffering, up to and
including death. There is no greater good which is served by the destruction
of the weaker by the stronger, except perhaps that of the system itself; a
measure by which, surely, and individualist could not stand.
Mentioned in the previous post (and I am not singling you out, Bob, this is
a common thread continued by many extropes) was the idea of removing poor
genes from the gene pool. In the context of modern society, the idea of
improving the human gene pool by evolutionary methods, as a worthy goal, is
just silly. Genes just aren't that important any more, and are certainly not
worth killing anyone for, even passively by letting someone die. The economy
of ideas and technology (the stuff we can do) must be predominant. The
evolutionary method is a cool way to build an organism, a cool way to write
software and do research, and a really very uncool, innefficient, and
unnecessarily painful way to conduct an advanced society of intelligent
I don't deny the power of dynamic self-organisation, and I don't see top
down organisation as a desirable primary method of running society (although
I do think there is a strong role for government, including the "w" word).
We do well to remember however, that, to the "losers", the inefficient,
uncompetitive life they lead is, to them, the most valuable thing there is.
When that life is compromised, even taken, where is individualism?
Our dynamic organisation methods can still be humanitarian, and don't
require "collateral damage" in order to proceed. It's a wartime metaphor,
and innapropriate in times of peace.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:01 MDT