Re: virus: "We will fight to defend the honor of our rocks!"

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 10:51:30 -0500


Sodom <> writes:

Oh yes, They certainly can. I think Eric is using an innacurate model of humanity. This assumption that mankind is not primarily violent in nature would not be very realistic.

I didn't say we wern't violent in nature -- I said that violence is a learned strategy for problem solving. As evidence of the memetic nature of <violence as a problem solver>, I would cite the studies which show that children of violent parents grow up to be violent themselves...

Punishment and pain are primitive but functional teaching tools, though I would not use pain myself, punishment has its uses. When applied properly, its called dicipline, and it works for everything from withholding allowance for not completeing chores, to fines of corporations. They are not fullproof, and often ill conceived from the beginning, but it still stands when effectivly applied.

Depending on what you mean by "works", I may have to disagree. Violence (coercion) rarely solves the actual problem -- more typically, it simply suppresses the problem, as well as generating resent and coercion damage in the form of irrationality and the loss of creativity. (people who use coercion to solve their problems end up thinking of coercion as the only possible solution after a while, which is both an entrentched theory and inhibits creativity).

"Coercion often will produce very compliant obedient children in situations where they know they will be coerced if they defy their parents in some way. Such compliant obedient children are not wonderful children -- they are damaged children. This is not a great goal to have for our children."