[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Wed Jul 6 20:49:10 PDT 2005

I dashed off my last reply, so let me pick on more apparently-erroneous 

Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) wrote:
>> On 6-Jul-05, at 4:26 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> Ian, "Difficulty existing in competition with" is the essence and  
>>> ultimate measure of "better".
>> Oh really?  Then science has it all wrong!  Why even bother with  
>> control mechanisms in experimentation then?
In some cases you can have a placebo vs. nothing.  In other cases, you 
can never quite get close to that.  Psychology has this problem, 
especially developmental psychology.  This is pretty much the same 
problem that parents have.  Each child's temperament and particular 
kinds of choices is different, but you only get one shot at raising 
them.  You can whatif all you want, but you can't raise them twice 
through any period of youth.

>> The great race between Communism and Capitalism had nothing to do  
>> with which was the better system -- it had everything to do with  
>> which society was more capable of consuming resources -- not  
>> necessarily more efficiently, but  -- faster, while preserving the  
>> illusion of prosperity.  Guess what?  Capitalism won that race (at  
>> the expense of the planet) and now the world's 
Is it an illusion of prosperity if it lasts 100 years?  If there is 
clearly a "slave" class that's hidden away somehow, that might be a 
point, but that's a stretch for the US, even with the "under" class 

>> great beacon of  Capitalism balks at any mention of curtailing its 
>> continuing  exhaustion of the planet's ecosystem.
A) Other countries don't have to sell the US resources.  B) While it is 
always wise to be efficient at the proper cost/benefit zone and you 
don't want to "break" the ecosystem, few aspects of resource usage can't 
be addressed when the time comes.  Even global warming can be handled in 
a number of ways (including controlling sunlight through space mirrors).

>> Now I'm no Marxist, but I sure don't support any system of belief  
>> which ignores the limitations that the finite resources of this  
>> planet must force upon it.  This is true of both Communism and  
>> American Capitalism.  The commies at least had the good sense to 
>> call  it quits before it ate them alive -- I doubt America will be 
>> that smart.
> What ARE the finite resources of this planet?  You certainly are 
> worried about a lot more than I.
> While there may be a limit to the rate of "production" of a particular 
> resource, I really can only think of two things that qualify as a 
> finite resource: oil and unique species (i.e. the "liveness" of a 
> particular DNA group).  (Possibly also uranium.)
> So, what are all of those finite resources that America is wasting to 
> the definite detriment of all future generations?
> Do you think we're going to run out of water?  Air?  Helium?  What?
> In your answer, please explain how it is impossible for the human race 
> to recover from the gross misuse of the planet thus far.
> On another point, Communists never struck me as being 
> environmentalists AT ALL.  Maybe your point is that they were so inept 
> that they could never have got it together to keep industry working 
> enough to make a dent in "resources".
>>> Read: "The Selfish Gene" - Richard Dawkins, second half where he  
>>> defines a "meme".
>> I read this book more than a decade ago, one of dozens on the topic  
>> toward achieving a degree in the field.  But thanks, and you're  
>> taking his argument completely out of context.
> I disagree, as do many who look at things from the memetic point of view.
>> -Ian.

swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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