[extropy-chat] 300 and the Gates of Fire

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Sun Mar 11 08:54:06 UTC 2007

>They got themselves into a closed loop that they couldn't get out of.

Yes, Thank you, for the first understanding words.

Bury, furthermore says:

"There is no doubt that the Spartan system of discipline grew up by
degrees; yet the argument from design might but plausibly used to prove
that it was the original creation of a single lawgiver. We may observe
how well articulated and how closely interdependent were its various
parts. The whole discipline of the society necessitated the existence of
Helots; and on the other hand, the existence of Helots necessitated such
a discipline. The ephorate was the keystone of the structure; and in the
dual kingship one might see a cunning intention to secure the powers of
the ephors by perpetual jealousy between the kings. In the whole fabric
one might trace an artistic unity which might be thought to argue the
work of a single mind. And until lately this was generally believed to
be the case; many still maintain the belief. A certain Lycurgus was said
to have framed the Spartan institutions and enacted the Spartan laws
about the beginning of the ninth century (B.C.)."

[Bury goes on for another page about this theory, that the man was not a
man but a deity instead, which is interesting too.]

>When I was reading about the Spartans, it strongly reminded me of the
>Russian Communist system. Where the state was everything.

Yes.. this has been written about extensively  (Rand and others pointing
to Plato's ideal as the major philosophical disaster leading to

>You can be impressed by their dedication,

Impressed? Maybe, but fascinated is more accurate. They expressed
something very strong in human character traits that would be very good
for us to understand, in order to not repeat mistakes, and rechannel
productively, if necessary.

>but, really, the system was quite mad.

Yes, but why, and how can we learn from that? How can we use it? Has
there been significant improvement in understanding that part of
ourselves in the last 2500 years?

and not wrt EP, which Keith has answers... Is EP the only field that
recognizes any of this? If so, humans are in trouble.



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
INAF Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), Roma, ITALIA
Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Tucson

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