RE: Watches & Necklaces

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 29 May 2003 - 12:31:18 GMT

  • Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: Watches & Necklaces"

    At 12:58 AM 29/05/03 -0400, Scott wrote:

    >>From: Keith Henson <>
    >>Subject: RE: Watches & Necklaces
    >>Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 22:47:27 -0400
    >>At 09:10 PM 28/05/03 -0400, scott wrote:
    >>>So would you agree with Richard that education is a parasite?
    >>No, because I don't think Richard said that.
    >(clears throat)
    >After I had elaborated on symbiont relations with the aid of Minkoff's
    >text, Richard had responsed (probably snipped from the post you had read
    >along with my rather pointed questions to him):
    >(bq) "It would seem easy to extend this, then, to gene-meme symbiosis.
    >Education, for example, is parasitic because it reduces genetic fitness.
    >How about them apples?" (eq)
    >You may have a greater command of the English language than I do. Looking
    >over what Richard said, is he saying that education is parasitic or not?
    >Maybe he was being facetious?

    Not at all. But there is a difference between what you said he said and what Richard said. The way you restated it is simply not true because it implies education being a parasite on the individual where Richard's states a well known fact about higher education, the kind that takes many years. Education and wealth in western culture has mixed effects, statistically reducing the number of offspring while improving their chances to survive.

    Humans have their own viewpoint which is not the same as either the memes they have or their genes.

    >>Education and closely associated wealth tends to reduced the number of
    >>children you have, but it does make the ones you have more likely to
    >>survive, in bad times *much* more likely to survive. This is just an
    >>extension of the K r spectrum.
    >I happened to be the one who added the allusion to the K r spectrum to the
    >mix, in response to Richard. So maybe we are in somewhat of an agreement here?
    >>Though as I noted, humans just happen to react to education and wealth
    >>this way. Our evolution could have left us with the tendency to turn
    >>wealth into more kids. To an unknown extent this may be more
    >>cultural. Consider that bin Laden has 40 some odd kids, not unusual by
    >>Saudi Prince standards.
    >Good thing Abdul Aziz conquered Arabia and then oil was discovered so that
    >those petrodollars could trickle down to bin Laden's dad and family via
    >the construction business. Otherwise, so much for Saudi wealth. The
    >fortuitiousness of the al-Saud conquest AND striking oil are an historical
    >confluence that cannot be underemphasized in any analysis relating to
    >Saudi Arabian affluence.

    Certainly true. I presume you have read some of Bernard Lewis on this subject. If not you should. He states the problems with the Islamic world as well as can be stated without evolutionary psychology and ecological views. The situation there is no better than that leading up to the Hutu/Tutsi conflict--with the difference that the USA is one of the participants.

    Keith Henson

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 29 May 2003 - 12:36:29 GMT