Re: memetic engineering and superstition

Arel Lucas (
Sun, 03 May 1998 11:44:21 -0700

Date: Sun, 03 May 1998 11:44:21 -0700
From: Arel Lucas <>
Subject: Re: memetic engineering and superstition

More comments on old posts--please forgive me, I'm cleaning out my inbox.

Josip Pajk wrote--

>Fortunatelyas Alfred Lang wrote:

>>The tracks or grooved ways are something good; but if nobody were willing
to walk besides the tracks, we would know little of the world.<<

It is OK while we are only walking and sightseeing and trying to
the countryside besides the tracks. The problems arise when we start to
>build and "synthesize" our engineered structures in it.(snip)

My feeling is that, if you can, when you feel you're being railroaded,
get out in front and *lay track*!

Later, same post:

>Are today native American
>Indians maybe improved comparing with their social state before the
>continent was discovered by technologically more "evolved" (rational,
>conscious) people.

Hmmm, I'm glad to see "evolved" in quotation marks, because I don't think
either group was more evolved in the biological sense than the other.
The Europeans were "civilized," that is, in the literal Latin,
"city-ized," or domesticated to live packed together in highly-structured
groups, with conflict encouraged only between certain defined ethnic
(and widely separated) divisions. We Native Americans, as opposed to we
Caucasians (I'm both plus), were not city-ized, but still lived rurally,
in less dense communuties. Conflicts were still among the old kinds of
primate-like groups occupying identifiably different but geographically
close areas, without highly evolved technology or extremely hierarchical
social structures. Unfortunately, in the process of civilizing us Native
Americans, we Caucasians brought prejudice, genocide and contagious
disease which wiped out most of the coastal tribes both east and west,
and severely impacted populations in the interior as well. Are we better
off? We're certainly more interracially mixed, intermarriage being the
best of a set of bad alternatives! No longer involved in internecine
warfare, many of us do battle with the government for welfare or better
tribal terms, and some of the less fortunate in ghettoes for simple turf
to sleep on. Some of us do very well--but all of us who know about him
think sometimes of Ishi, walking out of the woods to spend his reclining
days as a living relic in a San Francisco anthropological museum.


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