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

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 14:47:23 -0500

>Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 16:14:54 -0500
>From: "Eric Boyd" <>
>Subject: Re: virus: Guns for Peace

>Really? What if I have a theory that I want another person's
>property, or that I want to hurt someone?

>Why do you have such a theory? Even if you do have such a theory, why
>should you resort to coercion when cooperation is still an option?
>Violence is a learned response, just like cooperation -- and while it
>works well in the short term, cooperation pays off real big in the
>long run.

Agreed. We live in a world where some people have learned to behave violently. I wish we could teach them all, but many are adults with strongly fixed patterns of behavior. These people are dangerous. I don't think we should exagerate our fear, but if they learn to cooperate by trial and error their errors may involve massacres. If they learn to cooperate within small groups they may use this solidarity to strike out at other groups.

For example, Yugoslavia. That is a complicated mess. Why are we bombing the serbs? Why aren't we arming the KLA? Foreign policy in the new world is incredibly complicated, self-reflective and apparently contradictory.

>Agreed, but what do you do with people who don't respect other
>people's rights? What do you do with people that coerce their peers
>and lessers. If everyone were as you would like, there would be no
>need for authority...but we aren't all like that, are we?

>Certainly the solution is *not* to stop respecting their rights!

I never said that. I said that, sometimes, coercion is required. Or not? Maybe not...maybe we ought to let the strong massacre the weak. At least that would afford a stable end-state.

>The ultimate solution has to rest with a change in the aggressors
>theories -- they need to see that coercion is not the best way to
>acheive their goals. As to how to bring them to this knowledge,
>*that* is the major question of the social sciences, psychology and
>politics. In the mean time, we must do all that we can to minimize
>the damage they cause, while maximizing their oppourtunities for
>knowlegde acquisition.


>Sure, I've been programmed, but I'd like to think that, at least since
>I acheived consciousness (which I would peg at age 15 or 16), I have
>been picking and choosing my memes. It is a matter of degree, of
>course -- I am still a product of my past (as I know all too well...)

Back to BNW...those people are also programmed...but they never *crave* anything. They never have to...they don't need to consciously ignore their addictions, in the sense a Buddhist learns to, becuase they never experience separation. Isn't that more efficient? Or is there some value in complexity?

Maybe simplicity shouldn't always be our goal? Becuase, perhaps, the void before the universe pregnant with instability. Maybe the innocence of BNW, the innocence before conception, is too unstable to survive reality.

Perhaps it is, instead, reasonable to crave and then to unlearn craving. To understand absolutes and then to step beyond absolutes. To know reality and then to learn to step outside reality. It strikes me that such a person might have some sembalnce of innocence and yet be more resillient. Of course, that would require a certian inconsisency of thought.

Something to think about, anyway.

>I don't think one can learn painlessly. Real learning is a struggle
>against the world within and the world without. The painless part is
>memorizing facts and learning rhetoric.

>I think "painful" learning is a product of our culture, which tells us
>that change in our beliefs is bad; that making mistakes is bad. We
>are trained/conditioned as children (via coercive disipline) to avoid
>making mistakes, to avoid being "wrong". It is this training that
>later makes us hurt when we are shown to be wrong -- instead of being
>glad at discovering our error (so that we can fix it). Entrentched
>theories die hard. Dogmatism is the enemy!



  Reed Konsler