Frustration with politics explained

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 11:32:15 -0400

Thanks for all the interesting commentary on this subject.
It has helped me to clarify the nature of my frustration.

First, while I'm not a libertarian, I'm not opposed to
libertarian philosophy, either. My problem with political
theory and economic theory is general, not directed toward
any particular brand. My problem is that these fields
do not appear to be based on any agreed-upon set of
fundamental facts. They differ from disciplines such
as physics, chemistry, biology, and geology, which each
have an agreed-upon basis. Economics and politics
are in the same category of fuzzy science with psychology
and sociology.

In my opinion, we will continue to disagree about these
subjects, and we will have difficulty making any progress,
until we have an underlying theory with the same predictive
power as evolution in biology, atom theory in chemistry,
or Newton's laws in physics, and plate tectonics in geology.

Since this is true, debate makes little progress. Therefore
we (humanity) should spend our time on technical progress.
This will generate the tools we need to develop more intelligence.
We (or our successors) can then figure out the appropriate
underlying theories for what are now the fuzzy sciences.

There are two types of political commentary that are IMO
appropriate to this list. The first relates to short-term
political activities that affect the short-term rate of
technical progress. For example, an attempt to ban research
on faster computers, or to outlaw strong cryptography, may
qualify. The second type depends on a belief that the nature
of our successors may depend on our current non-technical
beliefs or actions. If you feel that individualism is
important and you want our successor civilization to include
individuals, you may wish to discuss how to bring this about.
Note, an "individualism is good" post is IMO useless. A post
discussing ways to guide the nacent cizilization toward
individualism may be useful.

This post has been an attempt to explain my own thoughts.
I'm not attempting to demand any change in style by other
list participants.