RE: Watches & Necklaces

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 29 May 2003 - 21:50:43 GMT

  • Next message: "RE: Watches & Necklaces"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: RE: Watches & Necklaces
    >Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 08:31:18 -0400
    >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
    >>>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
    >>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
    I've been listening to his _Crisis of Islam_ unabridged CD book in my car over the past couple weeks. It's pretty good, but too concise IMO on the early Wahhabi/Al Saud history and the advent of Adbul Aziz and his Ikhwan warriors. He was right on from what I've read elsewhere on the parts he does cover, but given his knowledge base and expertise I'd have loved for him to get much more in depth on these areas.

    I thought his discussion of suicide and how this subject is addressed in the Hadithic literature of Muhammed's life and sayings was very interesting in light of September 11 and the constant birrage of suicide bombings against Israel by Islamist groups. IIRC the anti-suicide injunction goes something like however someone commits suicide in life shall be replayed eternally for them in death. In other words, instead of paradise and however many virgins, those who took out the Trade Center shall forever repeat that deed. Is that the impression you got after reading Lewis's coverage of this topic? I also liked his history of the fedayeen from the Assassins through the present day.

    He was rather fair and unapolegetic in his treatment of Islam. Great book IMO, especially in pointing out how Muhammed was a warrior himself and the jihad a part of Islam from the get go, where the Reconquest and Crusades were more of a reaction to the European encroachment of Islam, though the Crusaders took things way too far themselves.
    >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.

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