Re: [Fwd: Re: virus: The Root of All Unhappiness Lies in Yourself.]

Alexander Williams (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 17:52:41 -0500

XYZ Customer Support wrote:
> I don't need such prodding but apparently many do, and hopefully the
> evolution of man is leading away from such primitive and childish
> ways of thinking. ANY TIME is the greatest opportunity for growth. If

The evolution of man /cannot/ lead away from such "primitive and
childish" ways of thinking. Those primitive and childish ways would
seem to be the defacto winner in every conflict because, otherwise, you
sacrifice the conflict to begin with.

Observe: We take two groups of humans. One is pacifistic, one warlike.
We turn them loose on the same continent. The pacifistic group spreads
relatively slowly, without desire for more than they need. The warlike
group will spread quickly and factionalize when the population reaches a
high enough point. Let's have them come in conflict for the same
resources: the pacifistic group is either killed or enslaved by the more
agressive and warlike group. Why? Because they didn't have the means
of /stopping the occurance/. It doesn't matter even if their
agricultural skills are the result of hundreds of years of peaceful
practice, the war-using group will appropriate that knowledge in the
process of subjugation.

There is no `ecological balance of predator and prey' in these
encounters, its much more like siblings, competing for the exact same

> When has any war ever been the "best" thing that could have happened?

That entirely depends on how much you like using the Net. It /was/
originally the product of wartime and war-planning technology, you know.

> Are you saying that in those circumstances you couldn't imagine
> anything "better"? War is not the best of anything.

Better for technological development? I can't think of anything.

> Is racial or ethnic cleansing also right up there with the "best of the best"?

Can be, if you're in the genetic group doing the cleansing of another
group and your genes eventually dominate their niches. Humans,
cockroaches and rats.

> We don't need competition and war in order to create progress.

We /do/ need competition to produce progress at a rate that may leave us
in a position to adapt to rapid changes, however. Look up the ALife
research regarding "Ramps," a simulation that bred `organisms' that
sorted numbers. Without predation, Ramps leveled off its evolution
short of perfection, doing `just enough to get by.' With an active
parasitic predator, Ramps /soared/ its population fitness. The
competition forced more strategies to be tried and thus, more successes.

> this world of competition and "winning the war" is everything. I would never
> want to believe in that and I don't understand how anyone with a
> heart would want to either.

Survival and evolution isn't about having a heart. Its about having
more offspring reproduce more often.

> Technology, strength of will, courage, and persistence are not
> developed much more efficiently in war than in peace. It is just

Making the bald claim without any support is unlikely to carry much
weight, y'know.

> challenge to develop these qualities and anyone who thinks that
> killing men, women, and children is "the only way" or "the best
> way" has obviously lost touch with reality. Are you saying that

Who is to define `contact with reality,' and by what? If results are
the medium, history shows far more effect of war as The Great Motivator
than any amount of kindness.

> war has never sapped people of their strength of will, has never
> sapped people of their courage or turned them into chickens,
> drained people's patience, or hindered technology?

Peace has done all of the above as well. When the sum of the game is 0,
you have to expand your view.

   Alexander Williams { /}
  Prefect of the 8,000,000th Terran Overlord Government Experimental
      Strike Legion, Primary Transport TOG "Bellatores Inquieti"
   You ride in 250 tons of molecularly aligned crystalline titanium
wedded to a ceramic ablative matrix.  You carry a 200mm Gauss
cannon, two massive 10-gigawatt lasers, two SMLM fire-and-forget
missiles, a Vulcan IV point defense anti-missile system, and a
deadly assortment of other equally lethal weapons.
   Your vehicle is the ultimate product of 4,000 years of armored
   Your life expectancy is less than two minutes.