Re: virus: Virus: Sociological Change

Alex Williams (
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 07:12:01 -0500 (EST)

"" at Nov 26, 96 09:39:45 am
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> Can society ever reach a perfect state of social harmony for it's current

Why would we want to? Harmony is stagnation. Stagnation is death.
Without some sort of vitriolic conflict bioling at all times its too
easy for the masses to become laconic and apathetic. Better to put up
with a little friction for the heat to keep us all warm than to freeze
to death in a cold universe together.

> Does a change in the law necessarily reflect the beliefs of society?

Of course not; at /best/ its a codification of the changes in
society's beliefs that preceeded it by years if not decades.
Prohibition is an excellent example. Do you really think a majority
of Americans /wanted/ Prohibition?

> How is it possible to kill dangerous memes such as race hatred, and

Again, why would we want to? As long as we can conceive of fighting
them, we propogate them. And are they really any more dangerous, in a
real sense, than smoking, driving fast or disliking the stupid? We
are all equipped with a set of discriminatory predjudices, its simply
that society's list of which ones are acceptable to spout in public or
act on changes fairly rapidly.

> Can we, as individuals, or even as a group, successfully "persuade"
society to change
> for what we believe is the better?

Of course, though in this day and age it takes Ross Perot-scale money
and leverage, but it can be done. If by no other means, `peace comes
from the barrel of a gun.'

> Without groups fighting for people's social position to be changed, would
> stagnate, or would it evolve naturally?

Who said that people fighting for others' social position is

> therefor, have not been killed successfully by the making of law. How
can these
> memes be mutated, or eliminated, to ensure harmony?

Again, harmony is stagnation, stagnation is death. In time of war,
those rapists are your genes' best friend since they spread a
gene-pattern measurably more like yours than your enemy's among his
population, insuring further mixing of the flood. The same drive that
causes homophobia (different == dangerous) kept your genetic pattern
dominant enough so that it could produce you.

Despite these things having negative social impact /now/, they are
born from legitimate survival instincts millions of years old. I
don't think they'll be eradicated in your lifetime.