Evolution and stuff (was: Re: HTML: woes)

Erik Moeller (flagg@oberberg-online.de)
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 01:12:04 +0100

>> Well, the nazis approved something *they* called assisted suicide. It was
>> called Euthanasia.

>and it was hardly voluntary. I would hardly call the way your socialist
>in china harvest organs from prisoners as 'assisted suicide' either.

"My socialist buddies in China"? I don't know anyone there except one fellow
who asked me if he could have the source code of my text2html converter. The
description 'socialist' hardly fits here, though. It's a capitalist
dictatorship with a red flag.

>> There are different conservative groups. One is the religous-right,
>> Republican group. You're hardly part of that group. But there's also a
>> of technology freaks that argue based on ideas that were refuted a long
>> ago. I call this conservative. You call it Extropy.

>You should look at the political arena as more of an x/y coordinate system,
>rather than just a right left spectrum. One axis represents relative social
>freedom, and the other represents relative economic freedom. While American
>conservatives occupy the high economic,low social freedom corner, and nazis
>communists occupy the low economic, low social freedom corner, libertarians
>occupy the high, high corner, while the international anarchists typically
>in the high social, low economic corner.

Freedom, freedom, freedom. I always hear freedom. As free decision is a
myth, who is free? The perfect slave thinks he's free. Maybe the loan
slavery in capitalist countries is just much more subtle to seize, together
with the great media propaganda telling us how free we are compared to those
poor, oppressed North Koreans, Chinese, Cubans, Vietnamese (the propaganda
has, however, declined since 1991 and focused on other important issues like
the evilness of Saddam Hussain and the Serbian atrocities.)

The best definition of freedom probably comes from the anarcho-socialists.
Not being oppressed by power structures while, at the same time, helping to
advance evolution. Such a freedom is entirely impossible in a "free market".

>Categorizing me in with religiouys conservatives is as insulting as puttin
>anarchist in with Stalin. Please be more discrete in your definitions.

You see, I have really lost the feeling for how people may react to certain
sentences. I see parallels between Extropians and religous conservatives. As
you say, they are mostly on the economic level. But decisions on this level
determine the outlook of a society.

>> >Not a bad analogy, but possibly more renaissance, depending on what
>> >characteristics of the middle ages you are referring to. If you are
>> >about free enterprise, low tax, self reliant, spirit of exploration and
>> >adventure, then I wont argue.
>> Spirit of exploration and adventure. ROTFL. A good way to describe the
>> crusades in an advertising of the vatican.

>A good way to describe the age of exploration, or of the Viking era. My own
>family lived in Nova Scotia prior to Jamestown and the Mayflower, at least
>of the year.

There are clues that the Phoenicians have reached America. The Romans
circumvented Africa. They built better ships, had generally higher
technology (besides the steam engine, electricity and their consequences,
there's little they didn't have) , more social and economic freedom and a
much higher standard of living than the Middle (AKA Dark) Ages could ever
attain. On the other hand, the welfare of the empire was guaranteed by the
emperors. If the money concentration got too big, they probably tried to
redistribute it. Too bad they couldn't prevent it.

The Christians murdered millions, buried the knowledge of the Romans and
maintained power (and stagnation) for nearly one millenium. The Dark Ages
were the worst time this planet has ever gone through.

>I disagree, as the idea that the state has the right to use deadly force in

>redistributing my property which they confiscate from me without due
process or
>proper Constitutional authority is not even worth discussing.

Because you don't consider yourself as a part of the human community, but as
an isolated being which has, for some strange reasons, the right to
accumulate scarce goods and the currency necessary to acquire them.
Accumulation of information, external sensors and memory, the transhuman
'properties' you described, is OK. But in today's world, the resources must
be distributed equally in order to allow everyone to participate in the
great game of life.

>And what is "non-transhumanist property" anyways? Just what you define it
as, or
>the state? Property is property. Whether it is "non-transhumanist" or not
>merely due to whether it is in the hands of a transhumanist or not. Nobody
>has the authority to decide otherwise.

I said "non-transhuman property". By my definition, a transhuman is a being
which has already transcended, and such a being does, according to my
knowledge, not exist on this planet. We're still unconnected carbon bags
filled with water. As such, we are all dependant on this planet's resources.
Private property of goods and currency must not exist in an environment
where goods are not reproducable.

>Really, funny, the native Americans might have something to say about the
>that natural selection doesn't apply to cultural evolution, especially the
>ones. So might the Nazis, the Communists, and today, the French, as their
>uncompetetive little culture is getting overrun by Americanization (as most
>other undynamic cultures are today). As tacky as you might think it is, the
>current American Culture seems to presently be the most competetive culture
>current existence (Or North American culture, as a Canadian would say ;)).
>course that could change, and if it does, we could all be eating tofu.....

That's the failure, you know. The Americans didn't become a superpower
because they were so clever. They've earned a golden nose with both World
Wars, whereas the British Empire was eliminated as a superpower already
after WW I. The German economy didn't fare so well after WW II because the
politicians were so intelligent, but because it was greatly funded by the

History could also look completely different, if, after WW I, Germany had
decided to cooperate with Russia. Such a plan was made, by Weimar state
secretary Rathenau. Remember the contract of Rapallo? It allowed the Germans
to quit reparation payments and to build and test weapons in the SU.
Unfortunately (probably), Rathenau was assassinated in 1922.

Unfortunately, Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.
Unfortunately, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.
Unfortunately, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Unfortunately, Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated two days later.
Unfortunately, Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.
Unfortunately, Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

I wouldn't call this kind of selection natural.

Human history is a long row of bad coincidences, backstabbings and battles
for power.

Evolution is the survival of the lifeform which fits itself best into the
environment. In cultural evolution, the environment is information,
memetics, an ever-changing flux. Neither the better one nor the more
unscrupulous one will win in the end -- the end is open. Makes things a
little more exciting, doesn't it?

Erik Moeller