RE: virus: Power

Eric Hardison (
Sun, 4 Aug 1996 07:28:24 -0500

On 3 Aug 96 at 18:57, Reed Garrett Konsler wrote:

> understanding. Just becuase "scientists say" something doesn't make it
> so anymore. After all, three out of 4 doctors whould recommend shoving
> an asprin up your nose twice a week if you gave them an AMA journal
> study saying it prevented nasal cancer in lab rats and a thousand free
> samples. The universe is exapanding, no it's contracting, wait...

> I'm a scientist. I like science, I belive in it. But we must recognize
> that the principles of science and medicine have been compromised
> somewhat by politics and economics. Is it any wonder that people are
> becoming wary and incredulous? I'm becoming wary and incredulous.

Yes, but everytime the scientific community makes a mistake, they KNOW
that much more. They now know what it CANNOT be. However, I do think that
news journalists should have more disgression with what they report. They
never give the details of a study, just the scientists conclusion, which
is just an interpretation. The reports get published in order to be peer
reviewed, not to be used as sound bytes.

> the most dangerous thing about LSD and Pot these days is that it isn't
> regulated in any way (being illegal, you know) and so the consumer has
> no way of determining if it's contaminated and no legal redress if it
> is.

I grew up around enough drugs to know that any mind-altering drugs are
bad for you just for their inherent effects. Canibis makes great rope,
but smoking it will slow down your reflexes, dull your creativity and
with high dosages, it will make a man sterile. And LSD has long term
effects on the nervous system.

> Oh, by the way, Cocaine and Heroin are on the bad side. No preaching,
> but they're very addictive and hard on your system...anyway.

ANYTHING can be on the bad side if one uses too much. However, the phrase
"too much" varies with each substance.

> So what do you know? Is Pot OK or really bad for you? Is drinking milk
> good or bad (some "scientific" studies indicate it's bad, and there are
> better ways for women to get calcium)? Is steak good or bad (I'd like
> to point out that a lot of "advances", in "Western culture" at least,
> were based on fundamental improvements in one time a little
> meat was the best medicine for poor health)? Who shot Kennedy? Is
> welfare a needed saftey net or a self-perpetuating system of
> destruction? Is there a genetic difference in racial intelligence
> (repeat after me: "No, Reed, there is not.")?

A lot. Pot is not "good" for you. Milk is bad for you. Steak is bad for
you. All animal protein and fats are bad for you. Eating meat cured
their health because everything else they ate was low in vitamins,
enzymes, minerals and protein (which should be eaten according with your
body mass and rate of muscle growth from excercise). LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
Welfare is a self-perpetuating system of destruction AND creation -- it
needs to be reformed. Hmm, since the layout/makeup of our neural
networks is encoded by the same system that encodes the rest of the
body, it follows that said neural network may vary from race to race
just like any other system of the body. However, our knowledge of the
mind is primitive at best, so we don't know genes encode for what
constructs in the mind or what said conbstructs' functions are in the
mind. So making any statement on the issue at this time would be quite
arrogant. (repeat after me: "I guess I was confusing social politics with
science Eric.") Do not flame me for the preceding comment. I'm just
mimicking your own tone.

> So, let's not sit around here like wannabe philosopher-kings lamenting
> how unsopisticated and useless the "unwashed masses" are becuase they
> don't recognize how simple things would be if everybody just acted and
> thought like we did. If what we believed was really so obviously right
> people wouldn't need to be convinced of it's would be
> obvious. Give the "common person" a little more credit: they might be
> afraid, a little unsophisticated, and prone to violence...but they are
> not stupid, hopeless, or useless. I agree with Stephen: lets teach
> people how to listen (critically, of course).

Once one reaches adulthood, it's a little late to be taught how to think.
However, the next generation could be saved from the foolishness of their
parents --- but their parents don't think they are being foolish, and so
there is little chance of correcting the problem.

> Look, memetics is a cool idea. It's a useful model. It will make
> consultants, speech makers, and book writers (like yourself) beau coup
> bucks...especially if you can whip up a frenzy about it. It is not the
> silver bullet. It makes some things easier to discuss and understand
> but it does not open areas of understanding completely heretofor
> undiscovered. I've become immune to the "danger, Will Robinson: we must
> save the little people from the bad [insert bad thing here]" meme. It's
> cliched.
> One reason I'm against using the "danger/crisis" reflex to get people to
> learn about memes is that it is a short-term motivator and in our
> rapidly changing society one rapidly gains a tolerance to such
> indicators. By trying to scare people into assimilating the meme:
> memetics you'll end up wasting the idea's rhetorical value without
> communicating enough knowledge to innoculate people against "the
> militant ignorance of cultural viruses and the evil of designer
> viruses".

I agree with you here. I see memes as a tool for science in the studies
of dynamic information, not as a way to improve humanity. It's like
trying to use a hammer to make a better hammer. The tools required to
refine and improve something lie outside of its realm.

> "...'law forbids men to do only what the artificial conditions of
> civilization drive them to do'. In this way we can see law as a
> balancing device, tending to counteract the distortions of super-tribal
> [urban] existence and helping to maintain, in unnatural conditions, the
> forms of social conduct natural to the human species...Tyrants and
> despots can, of course, impose harsh and unreasonable laws restraining
> the population to a greater extent than is justified...A weak leadership
> may impose a system of law that lacks the strength to hold together a
> teeming populace. Either way lies cultural disaster or decline." [p26]

This statement is common sense. The best thing for the human species
would be population reduction in coordinance with the dismantling of
large communities into smaller communities. Our whole system of
politics, laws and culture has become so complex and convoluted, that it
is impossible to fix it. In the new system, standard laws would govern
interaction between communities, but within communities, common law
would be the guiding hand. This gives each community the chance to grow
and express itself without having laws that legislate morality. I think
such a system meshes well with the new global village. In fact, it is
only by the new technology that such a system could work -- the internet
would maintain understanding and communication among the villages. It
would be a global village of villages.

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