X-Message-Number: 28390
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 11:26:17 -0600
From: "Anthony ." <>
Subject: Some observations by John DeRivas and Mark Plus - and Rudi

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> From:
> Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 10:16:50 EDT
> Subject: Some great observations by John DeRivas and Mark Plus
> This background explains how someone as clearly educated and intelligent
> as
> DS is... can make the astonishingly arrogant and misguided observations he
> does.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with David's research (perhaps you
even have different figures about the economics - or perhaps not), his main
point (I believe) is that John's observations that "Unfortunately no one has
conceived a better system of economics (capitalism) that hasbeen
demonstrated to work " is questionable. For starters - which system of
capitalism? The Swedish version? The Dutch version? The U.S. version? The
Iranian version? Are we interested in a capitalism which provides
health-care, a welfare state, and fair taxation, or one which regularly
wages war on a swollen military budget, and exercises state terror to ensure
imperialistic money-grabs against other countries?

And, by the way, David, the "meme" concept and verbiage is a useful
> tool...and is a "meme" widely adopted among the forward thinking people in
> the
> cryonics community.  Plus, it is credited to Richard Dawkins, a hero
> to  many of
> us,

The thing is that Dawkins is a biologist, not a social scientist. Though I
do undestand why we need heroes, you should not jump aboard Dawkins'
"mememachine" just because you admire Dawkins. His "meme" concept is
intellectually bankcrupt - it is quite clear that ideas are nothing like

Ideas are not subject to natural selection in the same way by any stretch of
the imagination (many ideas which hinder our survival chances continue to
exist because we are not entirely rational creatures), they do not replicate
in the same way, and the concept implies that ideas are not human
inventions, but some sort of substrate for which brains are used as
"carriers". Social scientific concepts like "cultural transmission" explain
the development of ideas much better than the catchy "meme" idea.

Just because "meme" is popular term, that does not lend it credibility or

who is probably the foremost explainer and defender of the  foundational
> ideas of Darwinian evolution of our age.

Some of us might argue that that person was Stephan Jay Gould (sadly not



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