[ExI] Human Gradients

painlord2k at libero.it painlord2k at libero.it
Sun May 17 23:36:06 UTC 2009

Il 17/05/2009 22.54, Lee Corbin ha scritto:
> Mirco writes

>> It flashed in my mind now:
>> The Affirmative Action laws are really different from the "natural
>> resource curse"?

> A fascinating connection. The general case reminds one
> of cell biology, in which cells maintain a higher or
> lower concentration of ions or chemicals from their
> environment (the intercellular areas), in defiance
> of the natural urge of statistical ensembles to
> distribute uniformly.

> It takes free energy, at least, to maintain gradients.
> Something is drawing intelligent people out of Africa,
> just as the affirmative action policies you speak of
> must be raising the concentration in the poorest
> urban areas of people who cannot as ably contribute.

Hi-tech, urban, industrialized civilizations need a concentration of 
skilled and gifted people to be able to maintain themselves to the level 
they are and to raise the level.
Any durable high-tech civilization will organize itself so it is able to 
retain the most skilled and gifted and attract them away from competitors.
The city exist to let higher density of population and, given that more 
gifted and skilled do better works, the city prefer the most productive 
individuals and let them to multiply more than the others.

> But did you understand that by "natural resource
> curse" (I was referring explicitly to Paul
> Collier's great book "The Bottom Billion"), I
> meant things like "the Dutch Disease"?

I know the problem with the "natural resource curse". I red about the 
Dutch Disease and de-industrialization, but never went in deep and made 
the link (until now).

> (I believe
> that another poster gave the wikipedia link to that
> very recently.) Anyway, it's a complex phenomenon
> that actually retards the economies of poorer
> nations. E.g., Venezuela, middle-Eastern countries,
> and a number of African countries evidently have
> *worse* economies because of "lucky" accidents
> of geology that bestow oil riches on them.

Like the Spain that enjoined the gold of Aztec and Incas for a century 
and become economically irrelevant.

> This also brings to mind the taunts :-) (okay,
> nice challenges :) from people on this list to me
> wherein it's asked whether people would really
> be worse off if they'd been disinherited by
> relatives, or, (in the same way), worse off
> by not being subsidized by the state.

Many people that won major lottery prizes don't had very happy life 
after. But the question is also if it is more damaging a single shot of 
heroin a single time in a life or half bottle of wine for a life.

> But a major reason people migrate to cities is
> for the stimulation they provide. Like flies,
> we'll all be attracted to the people and places
> that fascinate us, and this tendency will become
> more and more pronounced over time, with very
> "interesting" consequences, no doubt.

Well, this year the majority of the human population went from 
countryside dwellers to city dwellers.
This surely will have large effects, albeit not promptly visible or 
foreseeable, on the selective pressure on the human population 
worldwide. Many things we see, even religious and ethnic clashes, could 
be heavily influence by this factor.


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