Re: Evolution in action

Arjen Kamphuis (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 23:11:34 +0200

I wrote:
>>Of course in a true 'Darwinian Economy' optimising use of resources would
>>mean elimination all non-productive individuals (like ants). After that
>>individuals that aren't productive enough given their consumption of
>>limited recources). So after we kill all physically- or metally chalanged,
>>unemployed and elderly we give IQ-test to all 5-year olds, score below
>>Kill them to. Then up the minimum by .5 point per year. Combined with
>>automation of simpler work we should see some dramatic increase in the
>>standard of living of smart, hardworking people.
>>Very optimal, very efficient. responded:
>With humans, probably very *sub*optimal. A critical part of optimizing human
>production is improving their systems of social interaction and

So maybe we should select on high emotional intelligence also? And improve
communicative abilities and such.

>We do not differ markedly from 35,000-year-ago human
>physically or in innate IQ but our society is vastly more productive, from
>being set up differently.

Precisely. We have not changed, maybe we're missing out on a lot of
growth-potential. We have not tried strong selection on traits like IQ.
Not that I think we should, but it's an interesting thought-experiment.

>The society you describe would greatly curtail the
>possibilities for friendly, cooperative interaction between humans and hence
>likely be far less productive than the current one.

Why?, it's not like our current society has no blood on it's hands. We
allow preventable deaths and sleep very well in spite of it.
Of course the deaths would be closer to home for us
and that might be a bit nasty (the little boy next-door failing his IQ-test
and such...). But I don't see why 'friendly, cooperative interaction'
between the surviving individuals would be far less.

Both nazi-germany and stalinist-russi performed great engineering and
scientific feats in spite of their totalitarian nature.

In response to the post from Joost de Lijser <> I want to
make absoluty clear that I do not, repeat NOT, advocate this (my
enthousiasm in defending the idea just now scared me a bit in fact ;-). But
for increasing the standard-of-living (not the same as quality-of-life) of
highly intelligent, hardworking, highly educated, humans I think it's
workable and efficient. For the other 95%; tough luck.

I originally responded to this thread to emphasize the dangers of to much
trust in free market systems as the 'natural' and thus the best system.
There are some really rough edges to totally free market system.

I won't get into the discussion about 'how much governement is good'. I
think many members of this list are against almost any form of governement,
and they problably have good reasons.
My opinion is formed by my upbringing and what I see around me in the tiny
speck called Holland. Free medical care and education, almost guaranteed
housing and a basic income under any condition. No-one dies of starvation
or for lack of basic medicine. Sure tax is high, but I think it's worth it
(think of it as insurance).
I work for IBM, we're in the business of replacing humans by machines.
Sometimes this bothers me a bit, silly me.

OK, my point is hopefulyl clear and this is not a political list so I'll
leave it at this.

about one minute ago I got the 'Free-Markets: Extro-Nazi's or
Extro-Saints?' from Holly Pearson and I'm suspecting all hell to break lose.
Let's not do a two-camp yes/no trench war. It was tried in 1915 without
much succes.

Donning my cyberhelmet... ;-)

Arjen Kamphuis | Learn as if you will live forever. | Live as though you will die tomorrow.