Re: mems and conspiracies

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 19:02:38 +0200 (MET DST)

On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Anton Sherwood wrote:

> I would argue that the conspiracy meme, by denying (or distracting
> from) the results of Public Choice theory, supports the democratic
> myth that statism will be just fine when we clear the bad apples out.

Yes. I'm a bit irritated that so many otherwise reasonable people
seems to think that you need a conspiracy (a shadowy group of people
in black cloaks meeting to actively plot something secret and nasty)
to explain things; quite often collusion develop out of
self-organization between different parties who notice they gain when
they act in a certain way, no centralized planning is needed to
create a cartel.

"Designed" conspiracies ("Psst, want to rule the world?") seems to
work much less well than "grown" conspiracies ("Thank God for the
anti-nuclear activists, now we can sell more oil. Give them some
money, would you?"), and everybody seems to overestimate their
efficiency and prevalence (because it is untestable: if you see a
failed conspiracy, then there might be a dozen successul conspiracies
behind your back, and if you can not find any large conspiracies it
must be because they are good at hiding).

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y