RE: meaning of life

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 17:14:44 MST

At 09:21 PM 1/23/2001 +0100, denis bider wrote:
>As we become more and more connected (eg, via the internet and, in the
>future, via even faster and more ubiquitous methods of communication), I
>believe the 'society' will take on even more characteristics of a living
>being. As our rate of communication increases, our decisions will be more
>affected by information we receive: our activities, although individually
>chosen to fulfill our own desires, will become more synchronized than they
>would have been without an efficient connection.

All you've described is an efficient market, not a living being.

>Naturally, the 'group entity' only behaves as a living thing, but it is
>merely a system; it does not 'live' in the strict sense of the word. But if
>something acts as if it is alive, then I see no reason to insist, like you
>seem to, that it is "_NOT_ alive, because I _DON'T_ want to see it as
>something that is alive".

Your definition of "living thing" is awfully loose. You could apply that
definition to any number of mechanical devices that you would probably
agree are not alive.

>We already have large numbers of such 'group entities', and they are of the
>most ordinary kind - businesses, armies, and even entire countries. We all
>actively participate in them - the only person I could think of that doesn't
>participate in any 'group entity' would be someone living alone on an island
>somewhere, with little or no interactions to any other human being.

So then you agree that "group entities" of humans are built entirely on
voluntary participation and are by no means necessary for individual
survival. Voluntary participation in a "group entity" sounds a lot like a
spontaneous organization of individuals in a free market. Group entities
as applied to humans are a convenient naming conventions. Your "society"
is an arbitrary application of grouping. What is your metric for
"society"? If I can voluntary join or voluntarily leave a group, at what
point am I designated "a member of society" regardless of my individual

>So, whether you accept it or not, you _are_ a part of a 'living' organism.
>You are but a tiny cell in it.

Many types of cells cannot survive on their own. Ones that can (or
collections that can) are individual organisms. Two creatures living in
symbiosis are not the same creature. A cell that can choose to
disassociate itself from the organism and survive is an individual organism
in its own right.

>The organism takes care of you, and you make
>your own tiny contributions to the organism.

This isn't even an accurate description of people. Individuals can survive
quite handily on their own. Interdependence between people is an
artificial condition -- it exists because it is beneficial to all parties,
not because it is required by nature. There is a huge difference between a
survival necessity and a survival convenience on a biological level.

It seems to me that you are operating under some strange premises that
appear to be obviously incorrect on their face. Perhaps you should
re-examine these, because you aren't making any sense to me.

-James Rogers

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