Re: virus: Re: Virus: Sociological Change

Dave Pape (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 01:19:28 GMT

At 10:17 17/12/96 -0600, you wrote:
>On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:
>> On 13 Dec 96 at 16:50, wrote:
>> > Many theories base assumptions upon human
>> > nature that simply aren't true (Anarchy, Communism)
>> What does anarchy assume about human nature that isn't true?
>My, that pushes the research base....
>Larry Niven attempted to write this up, in "Cloak of Anarchy". [He may have
>been too limited in imagination, or simply needed to wrap it up quickly....]
>The real question is, "How long can an anarchy stay an anarchy before it
>mutates to some other governmental form?"

Well, for starters, "anarchy" will only ever be very short term, because
organised groups of people will outcompete disorganised ones.

But overall, I think it's a matter of scale. On a global scale, the world is
a bit anarchic. There's scraps, disagreement, religious heterogeneity etc...

But if you look on a county-to-county/ state-to-state level, there's more
government in place.

What I think is, over time, the RANGE across which government has been
visible has increased. So, in the past, government might only hacve been
visible across family tribal groups, whereas now its control can be seen
across... continents? (Sorry, don't take this as absolutes, obviously
there's all sorts of normal distributions and feathering of effects here...)

So, when we talk about anarchy, what scale are we talking about? If there's
anarchy on a whole-previously-known-as-USA level, then do you permit local
government town by town?

Crazy memetics link (as far as I'm concerned, anyway)...

The linking up of population groups into bigger and bigger units, with more
organisation of roles, is a bit like the linking up of neural groups in a
brain, as kids grow up. Thoughts, anyone? Like, when you're a baby, you can
do lots of useless, flappy movements of various little bits of your body,
but the whole can't coordinate to catch a ball. Learning is all about
associations forming between those little bits.

And... formation of a personality is all about little groups of memes
linking together, with tussles and competitions running at all levels, until
a kind of more holistic-looking personality construct is formed.

Hmm. Bet XYZ'll love this. Speaking of which, I used to work in a customer
support department myself. Don't you just hate it when customers come on the
line and they're all uncooperative and stubborn?

The memetic equivalent of a G3 bullpup-design assault rifle blowing a full
clip at my opponent.

-Alex Williams

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