Re: virus: Sexuality and monogamy

Bradford A. Patrick (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 19:47:15 -0700

Response follows from weeks old post--I've been lurking, but I'm just
catching up and wanted to point out a book you ought to read on this point
of choices, liberty, and who is driving/steering <?> technology.

The book is "Making Waves" by Dr. Edward Wenk, prof. emeritus @ U of
Washington ( Great guy, great book.

Brad Patrick
Non sub Homine sed sub Deo et Lege

| From: Kevin M O'Connor <>
| To:
| Subject: Re: virus: Sexuality and monogamy
| Date: Saturday, September 14, 1996 1:06 PM
| On Sat, 14 Sep 1996 10:00:33 -0500 ken sartor <>
| writes:
| >I base this on my _belief_ that people are better off trying to run
| >their
| >own lives as opposed to having others tell them how to behave. While
| >most people do not apparently act always in their own self interest as
| >viewed by an outside observer, they do at least get to choose what is
| >important to them. Giving the job to someone else usually means the
| >government chooses what is best for us and i have no confidence that
| >they can do an objectively better job and total confidence that they
| >can do a subjectively worse job.
| While I strongly support the rights of individuals to pursue their own
| objectives with minimal government interference, I also recognize that
| government does alot that a group of rational individuals each pursing
| privite ends would not accomplish. Even an anarchic society populated by
| well-meaning, thoughtful and compassionate individuals is not likely to
| produce transcontinental rail or highway systems, establish air-line
| saftey standards, create a national weather service, or protect the
| environment in places that most people will never visit. If there were a
| contest were between logging companies and enviromentally conscious
| individuals who lived in the area to be exploited, and if the local
| environmentalists lacked recourse to the law and to the social structure
| government provides for resolving disputes, you never even would have
| heard about the conflict. It would have been over before it ever reached
| your ears.
| Imagine if everybody coughed up ten bucks and put it in a pile. Do you
| think that money would be put to better use if we gave it to NASA or if
| everybody took their ten dollars to the mall and spent it on whatever
| they thought was best? Granted, some people would put that money to very
| good use, but most of it would go towards frivolous junk that would have
| minimal impact on anybody's future well-being. Are enough people going
| to agree on what constitues the best return for their money to put up
| weather or communiction satellites?
| Finally, what I fear more than potential abuses of power and
| mismanagement of resourses by a democratic government in an
| information-rich and increasingly open society is the
| potential abuses of power and mismanagement of resourses by transnational
| corporations who answer to no one but their stockholders. You think
| governments are short-sighted? Your elected official may not be able to
| see past the next election, but the ceo's of the really big corportations
| don't seem to be able to see past the next fiscal quarter. What costs
| more; double-hulled oil tankers, or ineffective environmental clean-up
| efforts and extensive media spin-doctoring and damage control? That
| depends on how you look at it. In the long term, the double-hulled ships
| are cheaper, but on the day you place the order for the ships, the
| single-hulled version is cheaper. Judging by their actions, how long a
| view do the decission makers at Exxon seem to take?
| Who do you think is more interested in lulling you into an apathetic
| stupor, the government or the companies who want you to buy things?
| Who's put more resources into influencing beleifs and behavior? Who's
| better at it? Watch a Bob Dole ad and then watch an ad for Pepsi or
| Levi's. The political ads are so annoying because they are so clumsy in
| their attemps at psychological manipulation. Sandwhiched between two ads
| designed to sell you products, an ad selling you a political position is
| so obvious in it's attempted manipulation that it's just annoying. That
| will change as politicians increasingly utilize the services of Madison
| Avenue meme masters. Still, government does not push the envelope in
| applied manipulation. The politicos are on a well established path; a
| path blazed by the product pedlers.
| Rant ends.
| Take care, all. -KMO