Re: virus: Re: new Proj FAQ

Duane Hewitt (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 06:15:26 -0700 (MST)

On Mon, 6 Nov 1995, David Leeper wrote:

> >welfare,
> Welfare is an attempt by our memes to compensate for the brutality of our
> genes and the environment in which we live. I see it as needed in some
> form, but (in the USA at least) it is counter-productive in its current
> form. Changes in the welfare system should attempt to enable recipients to
> enrich their memes, not just continue on their gene lines. The memes/genes
> of the recipient cannot be made dependant on the welfare system by the
> welfare system.

Welfare is a pork barrel program used to buy votes. It is an attempt to
suspend evolutionary principles but only serves to exacerbate the
problems that these programs claim to address. When you create these
programs you create an incentive to qualify for them.
These programs take from those who have demonstrated successful memetic
adaptation and gives to those who are dysfunctional. An economy,
like an ecosystem is much too complex for technocrats to bend to their
will. Welfare like many government programs is used for political
purposes which are divorced from the rhetoric that surrounds them. I need
to see a better justification of these programs before I can countenance

> Here's one I'd like to add to the list:
> >environment.
> Humans are destroying the environment at an amazing rate. This destruction
> is directly or indirectly a result of our memes.

Is it memetic or genetic replication that causes the peril to the

> The "Capitalism" meme
> complex directly destroys the environment through the exploitation of these
> resources.

I would challenge this in that the "Capitalist" meme complex does much
better than many other meme complexes such as "Socialism" and "Communism".
What would you suggest as an alternative. Government regulation does not
have the greatest track record and as Tyson Vaughn has already pointed
out we are living in mixed economies.

> Combined with the "Medicine" meme complex, it has produced
> massive over-population because people now live longer, but (most) remain
> poor. The poor reproduce much faster than the middle or upper income people
> do.

This is due to a whole host of cultural and moral issues. Should medical
care be withheld from countries with high population growth? An
evolutionary argument could be forwarded to do so but what about compassion?
The capitalist countries are stagnant or declining in population growth.

BTW it has been shown that the most effective forms of birth
control are education and literacy and specifically for women.
> Clearly some "Memetic Engineering" is desperately needed in this area.

Yes, convincingly packaged rational arguments would serve well.

Here are some questions for the FAQ

How does one implement rational principles such as those embodied in Virus?
What is the economic model that corresponds to Virulent Principles?

Duane Hewitt