Re: One humanity, all in the same boat

From: Damien Sullivan (
Date: Sat Jan 05 2002 - 23:26:36 MST

On Thu, Dec 27, 2001 at 08:01:01PM -0800, James Rogers wrote:
> On 12/24/01 1:17 AM, "Mike Linksvayer" <> wrote:

> > In the early years of this list (a decade ago!?) the state was
> > something to be smashed, or at least completely avoided, and race,
> > sex, and sexual orientation were annoying baggage that could and

> Yeah, what the hell happened to that list? I'm trying to figure out
> when/where I left it for a current events discussion list...

Hey, I've been on the list for nearly a decade. Well, 8.5 years.

But... I was never 100% behind the anarchist program -- I'd argue for it
with more statist friends, then come here and play arch-conservative or
toy with quasi-socialist ideas as an exercise. But ignore the
socialism. These days anarchy and even minarchy seem naive.

Societal survival can be treated as a problem in information processing
-- find threats, come up with responses, mobilizes resources to
implement responses. Government can act as the central nervous system
of society, compelling the cells -- excuse me, individuals -- to act in
concert in situations where ungoverned motivations would result in
behavior unconducive to survival. Of course, not all the interactions
of the cells/individuals can be centrally monitored. Quite a lot
happens from individual interactions, governed by shared nature (cloned
genes/common human nature or culture) and enforcement activty around
problems (meet Officer Lymphocyte). But not everything can happen
efficiently that way.

Of course, many governments are not pro-survival information processing
systems for their societies, as opposed to benefitting the brain
cells/rulers in charge. Possibly most haven't been. But just because
there are more ways to have a badly wired brain than a usefully wired
one doesn't mean having a brain is a bad thing; it means get a better

The USA has many flaws, both from the POV of the individual and the
society. "But utopia isn't an option." The USA (and other Western
countries) does a lot of things which you _would_ expect a pro-survival
information processing entity to do. It finances research, gathering
information about the environment and its internal affairs. ("Hey,
there's this ozone layer, And it's going away. Wait, that's bad."
"Hey, there's the asteroid moseying nearby." "Hey, our children can't
read.") Then democracy lets everyone try to call attention to their
problems ("We're going to fry!" "We're going to die!" "Johnny can't
read!" "Johnny can't pray!") and there's a decision process for what to
do ("Let's not fry. Asteroid? Silly freaks, go away. Let's hire more
teachers. And you, go away.") With free speech to allow full flow of
information and drawing attention to mistakes.

And the whole democracy thing allows kicking out execssively dumb

Vs. typical autocracy, with little investment in finding problems, and
suppression of people criticizing the Supreme Leader's tender ego, and
addressing problems by whim of said Leader, and no way to stuff the
Leader up the butt of the white elephant he decided to buy rather than
try to catch up with the British gunships forcing opium up the river[1].
That's a bad info processing system.

But an anarchy can't necessarily respond to invasion or selfish people
destroying the ozone layer with CFCs either.

-xx- Damien X-)

[1] Yes, the example mixes Asian countries shamelessly.

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