Re: memetic engineering?

Josip Pajk (
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 19:17:06 +0100

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 19:17:06 +0100
From: Josip Pajk <>
Subject: Re: memetic engineering?
In-Reply-To: <>

At 00:06 26.03.98 -0700, scott wrote:

>There is no reason to separate
>humans from all other life-bearing frames. Our products are natural. Our
>waste is just as 'natural' as horse manure. It just doesn't work so good
>for tomato plants.

Humans themselves are separating them from Nature with their "engineering"
addiction. I'll agree that our waste is just as natural (without
quotations) as horse manure. Is it such a difficult "engineering" task to
make it good for tomato plants? Or if it isn`t possible, make such a
conscious sacrifice of depriving ourselves "cognitively sophisticated
beings" of something that produce such no-good waste.

>While it may indeed come to pass that this orb is rendered unsuitable
>for our progeny, so what? It's not like Paranthropus or Neanderthalensis
>had a signed lease! Life comes and goes. Why should it be any different
>for us than for the previous tenants? New life forms emerge and some
>pass on.

One of the differences between us and the previous tenants is that they had
no genetics or memetics to explain them why they have to move out
permanently from their "apartment". No individual nor species has a signed
lease for survival, but we are the only ones who know that. Have we some
responsibilities because of that "gift" Natural evolution without
engineering gave us?

>The fact that our inquiry and production may prove catastrophic for the
>status quo is just the kind of stakes cognitively sophisticated beings
>have to deal with. Moving onward carefully and thoughtfully is a good
>idea but it is not going to eliminate the risk of destructive outcomes.

I`ll disagree completely with this. Or we are capable to eliminate
(minimize) the risk of destructive outcomes, or we are not at all
cognitively sophisticated beings. Cognition means looking and
understanding, maybe forecasting, but not engineering. Without engineering
Homo sapiens would probably never emerged as a species, but engineering was
always applied when needed for survival and not, as it is today, for other
less emergent (profitable) goals.


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