Re: ply to Grant

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 15:21:50 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: ply to Grant
    Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 07:21:50 -0800
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    >Subject: Re: ply to Grant
    >Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 22:35:29 +1100
    >At 07:21 AM 7/02/02 -0800, you wrote:
    >Jeremy wrote
    > >>My question was to do with the relative nature of fitness. It is the
    > >>as my questioning of other subjective dichotomies.
    > >>I hope that I have made myself more clear this time Grant
    > >>Jeremy
    > >>
    >Grant replied
    > >I wrote that reply to someone who remarked on a statement that
    > >cultural change could be worth billions. I even forget who the original
    > >author was. But my point was that this is already happening. Apparently
    > >remark grated on what appear to be leftist leanings.
    >Thanks for your reply grant. I have stored it away in my folder of most
    >interesting posts. But realy does my ecological preocupation make me
    >deserving of your acusation of being "leftist"? And isn't the left/right
    >thing jist another divisive, and subjective, dichotomy?
    I'm sorry I appeared to have stuck you in a box, but I was just reacting to
    a single statement that sounded like you condemned capitalists and didn't
    want them agrandized. I'm neither with you nor against you on that score. I
    can see where capitalism has brought us and I can also see what that has
    done to the environment we inhabit. But on the subject of memes, commerce
    spreads memes faster than small groups talking to each other and industry
    invents new memes faster than just about any other group except scientists.

    Businesses make up small cultures built around the making and selling of
    products and services. All people in Congress and on Wall Street are
    talking about these days is the unique culture of Enron -- a company that
    had a two-faced set of standards and coerced the people who were supposed to
    regulate it into ignoring their duty to make a quick buck. Now it has gone
    from being a symbol of success to a warning to all companies of how NOT to
    run a business. I don't think the memes that drove Enron will die quickly,
    even thought the company has. Greed is too much a part of human nature.
    But then, what is the difference, really, between greed and selfishness?
    That, too is part of our genetic inheritance.

    We (humans) are not the first species to destroy the environment we inhabit.
      Almost every large animal over produces and destroys its habitat
    periodically. Nature's way of dealing with that is to cause the near
    extinction of such animals. It's called the "J" curve and has been seen
    everywhere from petri dishes full of bacteria to islands crowded with deer
    and goats. Cattle in America often overgraze the range they live on and
    have to be culled by humans just to save it from them. The old tales about
    wars between cattlemen and sheep herders was about which animal was going to
    have access to the land. Cattlemen thought sheep destroyed the grass with
    their grazing and left cattle to starve.

    In this world of human population pushing that J curve almost straight up,
    we are just doing what every species before us has done. We are overgrazing
    the land we inhabit. The only hope I see for stopping that before we make
    ourselves nearly extinct is to use the memes of culture to spread the word
    there is a better way. Whether we can do that in time to save ourselves is
    the question. When the line on the chart of population increase is going
    straight up, that's the sign we're do for an attitude adjustment. And when
    we are seeing a doubling of population in the lifetime of an individual,
    that charts out at a pretty steep curve.

    We can't survive unless we stop being so successful. We have to turn our
    success in a different direction and propagate memes that limit population
    growth and invent new ways to use the land. We must become stewards of it
    instead of consumers. A lot of people will probably have to die before we
    come to grips with the problem. But it is a problem that must engage the
    whole population of earth and not just a few people at the top.

    That's my rant for the day. Again, I'm sorry I took your statement as a
    political position rather than a broader viewpoint. It's probably an
    outgrowth of my arguements with the anti-globalism crowd who keep using
    Marxist arguements to support their positions. They're still fighting the
    management-labor wars in a world where labor is rapidly becoming management
    through stock options and retirement plans based on stock ownership.

    Cheers, Grant

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