Re: Those lab mice have it SO GOOD

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Tue Oct 23 2001 - 16:59:09 MDT


On Tue, 23 Oct 2001, Randy Smith wrote:

> Why, Alex, you are so very nice today. Why so nice? Are you feeling guilty
> about your little feeding frenzy the other day during our immigration
> "debate"? Your response, and the response of others to the same subject,
> fascinates me. Because of the demonization of the entire "debate", when the
> subject is broached in a forum, a certain significant percentage of the
> people feel completely justified in just going apesh*t, like a white shark
> on a crippled seal. It reminds so much of Shirley Jackson's short story,
> _The Lottery_.

When you post useful information, particularly in my field and
sub-field, I do my best to make a constructive contribution (because I
try to be a good little Prisoner's Dilemma player). I don't pay much
attention to from lines. Information is information, and thankfully
your previous post had nothing to do with your immigration opinions,
so I didn't see that as the appropriate time to lambast them.

> The animal comes out in homo sapiens, given a socially acceptable
> opportunity. Those with the money to finance a longterm demonization of
> those citizen-owners who oppose immigration, have found considerable success
> in being able to attach to the opposition the "black dot". We are the
> sacrifial lamb, approved by the social elite. A great way to win any
> "debate".

I do hope you understand my frothing at the mouth as some pointed fun
at your expense rather than an expression of genuine hatred! Anyway,
no shit that I and other humans are animals. Admitting that is
basically a requirement for membership in the materialist club. Many
Extropians add to that "but someday, we will be more than animals" but
I believe that someday we'll be vastly powerful, wise, complex,
subtle... animals. There's no shame in that, and I'll take it over
being an inanimal any day.

My basic quarrel with your views on immigration is that they
presuppose the existance of national boundaries. The only entities I
recognize are myself, other individuals, and all of humanity. Any
intermediate groupings I belong to are at best temporary alliances to
further the interests of real entities. Removing government
micromanagement and allowing market forces to equilibrate the global
demand and supply for labor should fix whatever it is that's wrong
with current immigration policies... *if* an efficiently run and
equitable system is the ultimate goal. See below.

Furthermore, as I see it the spirit of the Constitution is not "Only
America should be of, by, and for the people". Rather it's "Society in
general should be of, by, and for the people, but so far we've only
had enough guns and money to liberate this chunk of continent. We wish
you the best in liberating yourselves wherever it is you live." Of
course that became mutated to "We will overthrow your government and
replace it with a puppet regime friendly to our government, thus
contributing to the world refugee problem" but that probably belongs
in one of the many Middle East threads.

You know, I'll even live up to the good name you gave me and actually
be nice. Here is the *real* conflict I have about immigration:

Is government intervention bad because it causes inefficiency by
distorting the proper market value of real estate, education, wages,
etc? Or is this inefficiency worth it because it creates areas with
high concentrations of technological infrastructure and educated
workers so that technology progresses faster than it would if
wealth/people/tech were distributed purely according to the dynamics
of a perfectly competitive market?

If you can give me reasons for believing the second alternative, or
some rational criticisms of my premises, I may actually have little to
disagree with you about as far as immigration is concerned. Let's just
stay away from romantic metaphors, because they make the difference
between a valid contrarian viewpoint and a rant (of the sort we've
both been guilty of recently, myself especially).

> But the bloodlust exhibited by the stone throwers....ah, a window into the
> mind of the homo sapiens beast. That such eager and zealous bloodlust can
> exist side by side with the capacity to make music and science....

Yes, yes, it is a paradox isn't it? GrreeAAAAAaaarghhh! Ook.

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
* and its Jihad." *

Version: PGP 6.5.8


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:15 MDT