Re:Re:virus: Virus and Economics

Duane Daniel Hewitt (
Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:43:03 -0600 (MDT)

On Tue, 25 Apr 1995, David McFadzean wrote:

> I think Sean has a point about the economy evolving to its present state
> with government influence. It would be more "natural" (i.e. closer to
> evolution before humans) if we created a new economy without top-down
> authority instead of trying to alter the current one, and see how well
> that did in global competition.

I have been thinking about it and one possible viewpoint is that the
economy is an ecosystem and politics is a parasite that tries to siphon
strength from commerce. But again politics has to do with power which is
a trait which can be increased by selection pressures. One can also take
the system of a culture or society and try to understand how the threads
of politics, economics and culture meld to contribute to it's stability.

> I guess both are forms of directed evolution, but I look at it from the
> perspective of an artificial life simulation. The original programs
> simulated a single organism trying to live in an environment. When it
> died, it was altered and given another chance. Changes that caused it
> to live longer were kept. More recent simulations model a population
> of organisms competing for resources. The ones that live longer reproduce
> more so evolution is automagic. I think it is pretty obvious that the
> newer simulations are more "natural", at least in the sense I think
> Duane was using.

I suspect that cultures which maintain the maximum adaptibility tend to
become dominant. I guess we have to determine what scale we are looking
at when we are talking about economics.

On another idea. We could call the tendency of Virus to encounter and
engulf good memes "phagocytosis". This is the process by which immune
system cells in our body surround and break down invading organisms.