Re: virus: The Gist of the Gestalt (was: Attn: Long Post Pt. 1)

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 18:46:36 -0400


you write:
Actually, I said *strong* and stable [motivational complex], and for a very good reason. See below.

Yes. This line sums up you argument, which I've read. I still don't think that the 'real-ness' of your system is sufficient motivation to avoid the apathy which you fully admit would ruin your system -- e.g. (to use your example) the average Joe cares far more about his immediate life (& his frisky girlfriend) than about foreign affairs (and lots of other things...) -- no matter how important they may actually be. To use myself as an example, I definitely do not follow international news, nor would I care to begin, just because I would have the 'potential' to vote on such issues. I'm simply not interested -- and I don't have the time for more interests anyway.

Besides, my fundamental attitude would be that unless it looks like the few people who *do* care are going to mess it up bad, I can just choose to leave it in their hands -- to 'give my vote away', as it were. Saves me time.

It is therefore my contention -- and you can quote me on this -- that even harsh political reality is not a *strong enough* motivation complex to ensure that your system will function; to avoid the voter apathy that will destroy it.

Regarding evolution (and I think we've said this to you before, long ago, but here goes again) -- evolutation *does* get stuck at 'local maximums', from which it cannot move; no matter how much higher the global maximum is. Design space is indeed huge, with vast potential -- but evolutation can only follow a path -- it can only move to areas immediatly adjacent. Of course, with a rationally based evolutationary system, large jumps are *possible*, but even then they are very rarly seen, because they are very hard to implement. Most political systems only make small changes, and the small changes add up to large ones after a while -- but sometimes get stuck in local rather than global maximums. e.g. subsidies to farmers. It's not a good solution to the problem, but we are now stuck with it, because the whole system depends on it, and any change away from it results in system crashes. The real problem is that we need a paradigm shift, but *cannot afford* the chaos that will ensue while the shift is occuring. You can't get there from here.