Re: virus: Re: virtuality

Alex Williams (
Sat, 28 Dec 1996 20:01:16 -0500 (EST)

> It is a truth only because you are looking back over history and
> creating your model from selected data.

What's to select? Almost every major technological innovation,
including the stirrup can be traced back to warfare. The majority of
the exceptions, pottery, agriculture, etc occured at a time when
simple survival with enough offspring to spread your own genes
effectively was as powerful as winning a war (if you can't out-fight
your enemy, out breed and consume his resources).

The printing press is a notable exception to this rule until you
consider its inception: to print Bibles. One can easily see the
beginnings of memetic warfare, therein.

> It's the old trap of "history is written by the winners" syndrome.

Would you really prefer to see history as written by the losers? And
you think neo-Nazi revisionist history was bad ...

> I mean, of course, "someone is going to invade your home and radically
> change your way of life" is a strong meme that gets attention.
> So, memetically-- war is not good-- war is an effective motivator.

Effective motivation is good, thus, transitively, war is good. As I
said, its not PC to say it, but I mean it. A low-grade boiling of
skirmishes and the threat thereof for a while is a great spur for
technology and economy. As long as you have occasional periods of
peace, usually longer than the times of war, depending on how
extensive the war was, in order to sit back and integrate the pushed
wartime developments you'll move along much faster and more happily
than a totally peaceful society.

It seems silly to say that war and the effects memetically and
technologically aren't the most powerful goad to development using
email across a network originally called ARPANET for the communication
between military sites.

> Consult Euripedes "Trojan Women" for the world's oldest (written)
> anti-war play. He used the key attributes of tragedy to express the one
> aspect of the human condition that is the "Achilles Heel" of our
> consciousness.

Your point? People have always protested war. That has no bearing on
whether or not it was /good/ for them. I protest the flavour of
Castor Oil, too.

Greece's martial prowess was one of the major reasons that Euripedes
had the time and freedom to /write/ TROJAN WOMEN. Surely I'm not the
only one that appreciates the fine irony.

> We cannot, really, see things totally from another person's point of
> view. We do not know our own cruelty until it is inflicted back upon us.

I'm absolutely certain of my own cruelty, its the cruelty that kills
5/8ths of the young crocodillian population before breeding maturity
and ensures that over 99% of the billions of sex cells that get spewed
into the ocean by clams never meet another and merge successfully.
Its the cruelty of the efficency of nature.