Re: Time article and letter to editor

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun 07 Sep 2003 - 20:14:31 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Time article and letter to editor"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Time article and letter to editor
    >Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 12:43:58 -0400
    >Interesting article on the Saudis.
    >Humans almost certainly have a psychological tendency to go to war with
    >neighboring tribes when the per capita income is falling. (I.e., the game
    >has been eaten and they are going to starve.) Even if the attacking tribe
    >lost and every male was killed, females and children (who carried the same
    >genes) were normally absorbed by the winners.
    >In any case, evolution favored those who resorted to violence over those
    >who quietly starved.
    >A proposed mechanism to couple bad economic situations to wars is that
    >under conditions of looming privation xenophobic memes leading to wars
    >replicate well. This can even be seen in the US where neo-nazie movements
    >become more common in bad times.
    >Population growth rates above growth in economic productivity are highly
    >correlated with areas where xenophobic memes induce fighting. In this is
    >should be noted that the per capita income in Saudia Arabia has fallen by
    >about three quarters over the past generation from smaller oil income and
    >rapidly rising population.
    >Easter Island is a long ways in both time and space from the Mid East, yet
    >there may be a lesson in the gruesome history of that isolated place. The
    >American Southwest about 1250 CE is another example of privation induced
    >wars and population collapse. (See LeBlanc)
    >Unfortunately, the current US administration is utterly opposed to
    >population limiting steps that would improve the per capita income, though
    >that probably lies behind reversing the tide of violence in Northern
    What population limiting steps? Contraception? Abortion? Sterilization?

    Where? The U.S.? Saudi Arabia? Are these steps supposed to be a matter of choice or gov't imposition?

    Implicit in this Malthusian claptrap would be the canard of the affluent intelligent people having fewer babies and thus stable K population levels where the poor dumb folk are sprewing gametes all over the place ("stupid people are breeding" AKA r-strategy). Thus, these steps to curb population growth would have the untermenschen as their target. They are the ones who are underprivilileged, feel the tears of privation and serve as fermenting vats of xenophobic "memes".

    As conservative as Dubya is, I haven't yet seen Roe vs Wade overturned nor contraception banned in the US. I would foresee us having a lot of problems imposing planned parenthood upon a fundamentalist Islamic state such as Saudi Arabia, in the hopes of socially engineering privation and terrorist
    "memes" away. Imposing abortion (or other "population limiting steps") upon our own people would be bad. Trying to do this to another nation would be a pretty nasty situation too.

    There's always forced sterilization. Didn't the US already impose this on the "inferior" folks within our borders back in the day? There's not much of a line to be crossed between Malthusian talk and eugenic action.

    Population limiting steps (contraception, sterilization or abortion), should be a matter of individual choice, not gov't edict. That's the most important part of pro-choice.

    _________________________________________________________________ Compare Cable, DSL or Satellite plans: As low as $29.95.

    =============================================================== 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 : Sun 07 Sep 2003 - 20:18:13 GMT