RE: ply to Grant

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 04:32:43 GMT

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    At 03:57 PM 12/02/02 -0800, Grant wrote:


    >Memes are in competition with each other for survival. What makes them
    >survive is how useful they are to the people who use and propagate them.

    For *most* memes I agree. But there are a lot of examples of memes that
    are no good for you. Instead of being symbiotic they are wildly
    parasitic. Jim Jones's meme, Solar Temple, Heaven's Gate to name a few.


    >Governments are competing for control of the land and companies are
    >competing for market share. But it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.
    >Culture is not zero-sum. Cyberspace knows no boundaries. There is room
    >for infinite growth there. Unfortunately, the land we live on is
    >finite. If the population keeps expanding, there is no other game in town
    >but the zero-sum. And right now, we're on the edge of being too many for
    >the land we live on to support us.
    >The question is who will live and who will die? Many people think the guy
    >with the most guns will win. Other people think it will be the people
    >with the best ideas. But as the population continues to grow, a lot of
    >people will have to die so the rest can survive. I don't see any way to
    >save us all. Two more doublings of the population will bring us all
    >down. The biosphere can barely tolerate the numbers it suffers under now.

    There are ways the population could go up by several orders of
    magantude. The trick we have been doing to keep most of us out of war is
    life support technology running ahead of population
    growth. Nanotechnology, which might get here in the nick of time, would
    allow moving most of the population into space where (with nanotech) it is
    easy to build at least 1000 times the area of the earth.


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