Re: virus: Re: FAQ

Duane Hewitt (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 16:41:33 -0700 (MST)

On Tue, 7 Nov 1995, David Leeper wrote:

> I'm not sure private charities have dried up in America. Look a Green
> Peace, Salvation Army, United Way, numerous churches, Comic Relief, Amnisty
> International, etc. etc. That these charieties would have paid our bills,
> bought our food, and put clothes on our back for eighteen years is not clear
> to me.

I do not suggest that charity is extinct in America. What I am suggesting
is that the amount of voluntary charity in a country is inversely
proportional to the amount that it is a welfare state.

> I have no arguement that the Federal Government is inefficient. I have no
> argument that welfare is an abused system. But I don't think that getting
> rid of it is the answer. It _does_ need drastic changes. It cannot be a
> way of life, the way it is now.

I find it does not meet my standards for justification. IMHO it only
seems to exacerbate the problems that it claims to be addressing.

> To label someone "dysfunctional" because they are having a tough time in the
> current environment is Social Darwinism. It is also short-sighted.

Everyone has problems and granted that all problems are not equal.
However, it has not been clearly demonstrated to me that since someone
else has had a tough time of it that they automatically have a claim on me.

I think it is shortsighted not to acknowledge that social policy causes
selective pressures to occur for behaviours that are not beneficial. If
this is "Social Darwinism" then so be it.

Why is the drug trade so lucrative?
Because of the high costs of doing business and the high risk factor due
to government policies.
Look at the differences in sentences between crack cocaine and cocaine
powder. This is US government sponsored Social Darwinism.

> It sucks 'cause I don't like it! ;-)

Thanks for being so specific. :-)

> Many people receive benefits from the current system. But by maximizing
> these local variables, we are harming several important global ones.

In ecosystems the same thing occurs quite often. The wolf population booms
leading their prey to become more scarce and then the wolf population
dies off. These are natural cycles. I am not convinced that we are going to
irreparably damage the planet. Invariably, the apocalyptic
environmentalists since the time of Malthus are pushing back the days of
Aramageddon (For example, _The Limits to Growth_ by the Club of Rome) There
are definitely areas of concern but they often seem to be blown out of
proportion. I would not underestimate the adaptibility of the human
animal or of life in general.

> Perhaps if economics were based on genes/memes instead of dollars, we'd be
> better off. I'm not sure how that'd work though...

What are dollars but a symbolic representation of food and security which
our genes and memes have been selected for over millions of years? The
problem as others have mentioned before is that our memetic evolution is
moving much more quickly than our physiological evolution.

Duane Hewitt