Re: virus: Re: my heart

Tracy Harms (
Fri, 27 Oct 95 15:45:52 MDT

Luree wrote
>We are solely motivated by greed,even
>to the exclusion of a survival instinct.

Hmmm, my studies of evolution have reinforced my opinion that greed happens to
_be_ the closest thing we have to a survival instinct. The danger of perishing
due to lack of nourishment is countered by the greed called hunger; that of
dehydration, by thirst; and so on. The inclination to skin beavers to get steel
axes is really on a continuum with those, as are all other economic

Which is not to say that our economic inclinations cannot be short-sighted in a
manner which makes them hazardous. Indeed this can occur, as you well realize,
and so we do well to consider our apparent incentives with a critical eye. But
that is a world away from lamenting that greed makes the world go round, or go
to hell, or whatever.

That concern is, of course, the same concern which has been a most common
reaction against the theories of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin alike. I'm not
going to attempt to re-present their heady works now, but I can say that most
Virus appreciators, Extropians, and ilk are more comfortable with the insights
of those thinkers than were those men themselves. Lamentations as to the
widespread presence of greed leave us a bit nonplussed: We're surprised when we
find anything large scale which CAN'T be mapped in terms of "greed".