Re:virus: Virus, Economics and Evolution

Todd M Kuipers esq (
Mon, 8 May 1995 12:31:32 -0600

>How about the effects of these non-complex strategies of income
>redistribution on the evolution of behaviours in Western culture? We seem
>to be selecting for "victims" in a peverse sort of reverse natural
>selection because being a "victim is an asset that can be used to extort
>entitlements from the government.

the victims will breed victims until society deems that the victims (esp.
those who are chronic victims) should no longer be tolerated, then
sterilized (or some such) thus realigning natural selection. Natural
selection is "screwed up" only if you don't look at the motivations of the
society that supports victims. Natural Selection is still in play as the
most fit go on or pass on a higher level, this gained through going to
heaven or its equivalent, obviously a higher level.

>We have the lower income people breeding at a much higher rate than the
>upper income people. What implications does this have in the medium to
>long term?

a Cheap pool of poorly armed, but rampantly militaristic street sweepers.

as far as models go:

Researchers at the Brookings Institution have developed a computer program
that generates artificial societies and tracks how they evolve over time.
The Computerrarium program uses a "bottom up" approach, in which elaborate
structures emerge from the collective interaction of as many as 1,000
"individuals" following a few very simple rules. Each individual has a
unique set of characteristics (randomly assigned at the outset), both fixed
and variable. The program is still under development but the two
researchers have already found that their digital people behave more like
real humans than the consumers depicted in most economic textbooks: "If we
make the agents less like Homo economicus and more like Homo sapiens --
that is, relax these very stringent assumptions -- important laissez-faire
assumptions (of standard economic theory) do not hold up very well."
(Tampa Tribune 5/5/95 BayLife 3)

Todd M. Kuipers | Merak Projects Ltd.
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