Re: [sl4] Re: Property rights

From: Charles Hixson (
Date: Sat Jul 05 2008 - 12:57:46 MDT

On Friday 04 July 2008 05:55:24 pm Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 2008/7/4 Lee Corbin <>:
> > ...
> > Believe me, entities from the future will want more, and more that we
> > cannot quite conceive of. Even someone from 1750,
> > given a tedious job at McDonald's today would want to ask,
> > "what need is there of anything else---life would be perfect
> > in such a society with such an easy job".
> > We or our replacements may still have the human urge to never
> > be satisfied.
> This is true because our brains, alas, have not changed one bit from
> cave man days. Even if we all had Santa Claus machines we might still
> covet our neighbour's unique objects, land and raw materials. But the
> crucial change will come when we are able to rewrite our own source
> code. If you can see that the attempt to satisfy a desire will lead to
> trouble, then change the desire or declare it satisfied by fiat.

This is true not because there aren't currently ways to be satisfied, but
because people don't choose to be satisfied. (Not true for all people, but
it doesn't *need* to be true for all people.)

The problem is real because a small minority who choose to never be satisfied
without *more* is sufficient to use any finite quantity of resources,
provided only that they have some means of acquisition. Desire for control
and property doesn't have the same built-in limitation that desire for food
does (and I say this as someone who needs to lose weight). One can only eat
so much food in a day. Even so, some people hoard, but generally even
hoarders have limits as to how much they want to hoard. (Not necessarily. I
recall reading about a pair of hamsters found in Belgium a few years ago with
a hoard of over a ton of grain. I suspect that their family had been living
in the same place for a long time...but I don't know.)

The thing is, just because YOU can see that someone is thinking incorrectly
doesn't mean that THEY will see the same thing. Perhaps they will. I can
tell that I need to lose weight, and so I must be thinking incorrectly about
food, at least some of the time. Don't seem to be able to do anything about
it. But if I could, and it was reasonably easy, I would. But an anorexic
doesn't see that they have invalid values. Sometimes it's possible to teach
them that they do, but they actually see themselves as fat while starving to
death, so they don't WANT to change their minds.

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