Re: virus: Ruling and Power

Twirlip of Greymist (
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 21:21:54 -0700 (PDT)


Duane Hewitt wrote:
/On Mon, 28 Aug 1995, Twirlip of Greymist wrote:

/> Because "Neither rule" ignores the question "Why not, if I can get away
/> with it?"
/Good point. There is no contradiction with this attitude being a valid
/evolutionary strategy. However, you have to trust your estimate of the
/likelihood of ruling successfully because as a ruler you automatically
/become a target to outsiders as well as those who thirst for power under
/your rule.

Certainly. But taking this gamble can be quite rational.

/> I'm sure you'd like
/> to be able to, given that situation, but if I'm rational, how? Why not
/> use power if one has it?
/If you were this powerful then why would you bother to "push around"
/humanity? You could operate on the assumption that if you don't push

I like a beautiful earth, and want to get rid of the human infestation
ruining it. I'm afraid my exponential growth curve will sigmoid out,
and other Powers will be produced to rival me, whose motives I may not
trust or share. I wish to take an interest in raising humanity and
possible future Powers because I think I know better and can do Good.
Humanity may be useful to Power-me, like domestic animals to us.
I'm sure other motives besides capriciousness can be thought of.

/> 1) I consider my survival to be good. (Observed fact.)
/> 2) There is no a priori reason I can't do whatever I want, to whomever I
/> want. (Un[dis]provable or observable?)
/As above "Do unto others ..."

That's an assumed axiom. Not at all self-evident.

/> 3) In the absence of other information, other intelligences are probably
/> somewhat like me. (Assumption.) Therefore, they also feel they can do
/> whatever they want.
/They may assume, however, that they may have to rationally justify their
/actions. If an individual or race regularly practices genocide because
/they "feel" like it and the other races did not pose any threat to them

What's your conception of rational justification? By the evolutionary
principles of Virus any race, anything remotely alive, can conceivably
be a threat in the long run, merely by engaging in unlimited growth and
eventually "needing" the resources taken up by my existence.

/> 4) Cautiously, I can assume they're as well armed as I am. (Assumption.)
/Very cautiously, you could assume that there is someone much better armed
/than you who may call for a justification of your actions.

Very cautiously indeed. (4) is not the same type of axiom as (1); the
latter is a personally observed fact. (4) is a choice of risk. Boldy,
I can assume they're not as well armed and be an active predator; if I'm
right, I'll be successful, else I'll be selected out (either physically
or I'll change my memes.)

/> game theory. Other conclusions: defending armies can make sense,
/> because you want to band together to scare off the agressor; if you
/> don't, you may get mowed down anyway. Attacking armies do not make
/> sense, because any individual in that army runs a good risk of being
/> killed for something that shouldn't be worth that much to him. Being
/> the highly visible leader of such an army makes even less sense.
/Good points. However, differences in technology may make tremendous
/differences in the advantages of attacking and defending armies. This is
/why the European empires spanned the globe in the 19th century.

Of course; I was assume individuals no more than an order of mag apart
in power. Being backed by the Industrial Revolution gives several
orders of mag. And obviously, even when the people are equal, quite
often people do gang together to enforce some some social will, leading
to the feasibility of other enforcements.

-xx- Damien Sullivan X-) <*>

Dance, dance, wherever you may be,
For I am the Lord of the Dance said he,

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