Re: virus: Re: Virus: Sociological Change
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 14:29:25 -0600 (CST)

On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 17 Dec 96 at 10:17, wrote:
> > On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:
> > > What does anarchy assume about human nature that isn't true?
> >
> > My, that pushes the research base....


> > It looks like a nonstandard psychology [hopefully(?) attainable by
> > education] is required to stabilize an anarchy.
> Can you elaborate on this please? Do you mean something inate in our
> psyches or do you mean cultural influences. The latter certainly seem
> to play a big part; most people feel that government is necessary
> simply because they have never experienced anything else (learned
> helplessness of a sort, which the powers that be are happy to
> promote). This much at least can be reversed by education, albeit
> with difficulty. I'd predict at least a couple of generations of
> general exposure to the meme before society was in a state where
> anarchy would have any chance of gaining a foothold without quickly
> degenerating into chaos.

I'm certain that cultural influences are important; education [viewed as
a process starting at birth, if not before] can handle these [cultural
terraforming may be required, but we're thinking long-term].

Since medium-term stable cultures tend to reproduce, shifting these
axioms would take some time.

I hedged because of some of my research into psychology. Considering
that our learning of language before age 5-7 seems to be more like
imprinting than normal learning, and that some methods of reasoning are
not uniformly supported [usable] across adults, it could be there are
similar restrictions on tolerance of governmental forms. I'm not aware
of any decent evidence for or against.

Anything hardwired would require genetic engineering to controllably
alter, or at least several generations.

[I recall some fringe-science experiments where the researchers tried to
duplicate known breeds of dog, starting from Australian wild dogs. After
15-20 generations, the fakes could not be distinguished from the real
breed--until one checked for nonstructural genetic defects; these
weren't duplicated reliably. They didn't have decent pedigrees, and
would not have placed high in a dog show.]

> > Certain assumptions
> > about tech level may also be required.
> Agreed. There are certain technologies (real and imagined) which
> facilitate it but the ones that spring to mind do so by reducing the
> power differential. This would imply that it's not the level of
> technology but who controls whatever technology is available that is
> the real crux.

"Who controls" is important; so is "relative effectiveness". Compare a
medieval fortress vs. medieval army to Mutual Assured Destruction as
warfare technology/technique. Heuristically, an anarchy prefers something
like the former in power balance, *not* the latter.

This is one of the sources of unrealism when designing a high-tech RPG;
it doesn't really affect design of wargames.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd