RE: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Priso

Wright, James 7929 (
Tue, 29 Apr 97 10:16:00 EDT

Richard wrote:
>>I saw it a few times. A stupid, bumbling father, good-intentioned but
>>vacuous mother, giftedly bright although immature daughter,
>>torrentially stupid and ill-mannered son still more cunning than the
>>father; this is a show written for adolescents, by writers still stuck
>>in adolescence. I have passed adolescence, I suppose.<<[JW]

>What if you were to take the position that the growth that would allow
>you to appreciate The Simpsons is ahead of you, not behind you?<

As an intellectual exercise, I suppose it is a possibility. "Question
authority" is a valid meme; "Then listen to the answers and make up your
own mind" is a useful extension.
Growth that would allow me to appreciate the Simpsons would involve, I
suppose, something like the following: "There exists a subset of society
which is composed of individual families like the Simpsons. The children
are smarter and more cunning than the adults, and should actually be
running things. In some ways, they are. This leads to greater fulfillment
for those families as a whole, and the process of watching them cope with
external and internal realities is amusing."
At this point, my internal memes rebel against the TV authority
presenting this scenario as follows: "My children are both fairly bright,
and about the ages of the Simpson children as shown (mine are 6 and 9).
They cannot provide usefully for themselves for an entire day without
frequent and direct intervention by my wife and myself. They are
incapable of making sound rational judgements without their emotions
getting involved and usually winning, eating tomorrow's lunch money in
the form of today's doughnuts if given the chance. The analogy between
Simpson children and the real world in my household breaks down
immediately, and the existence of a real Simpsons family would be a
nightmare of juvenile delinquency, irresponsible thrill-seeking and
impending peril for all those who live near them."
I tried, Richard; perhaps poorly, but I tried. Can you show me where I