Researchers find selfishness can sometimes help the common good

Sep 14, 2010

Scientists have overturned the conventional wisdom that cooperation is essential for the well-being of the whole population, finding evidence that slackers can sometimes help the common good. Researchers, from Imperial College London, the Universities of Bath and Oxford, University College London and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology studied populations of yeast and found that a mixture of 'co-operators' and 'cheats' grew faster than a more utopian one of only "co-operators."

The study, publishing next week in the online, open access journal , used both laboratory experiments and a to understand why and how a little "selfishness" can benefit the whole .

In the study, the "co-operator" yeast produce a protein called invertase that breaks down sugar (sucrose) to give food (glucose) that is available to the rest of the population. The "cheats" eat the broken down sugar but don't make invertase themselves, and so save their energy.

Professor Laurence Hurst, Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder at the University of Bath, explained: "We found that yeast used sugar more efficiently when it was scarce, and so having 'cheats' in the population stopped the yeast from wasting their food. Secondly we found that because yeast cannot tell how much sucrose is available to be broken down, they waste energy making invertase even after there is no sugar left. This puts a brake on population growth. But if most of the population are 'co-operators' and the remainder are 'cheats,' not all of the population is wasting their energy and limiting growth. For these effects to matter, we found that 'co-operators' needed to be next to other 'co-operators' so they get more of the glucose they produce. If any of these three conditions were changed, the 'cheats' no longer benefitted the population."

Dr. Ivana Gudelj, NERC Advanced Fellow and Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Imperial College London added: "Our work illustrates that the commonly used language of 'co-operators' and 'cheats' could in fact obscure the reality. When the addition of more invertase producers reduces the fitness of all, it is hard to see invertase production as co-operation, even if it behaves in a more classical co-operative manner, benefitting all, when rare."

The researchers suggest similar situations may exist in other species where 'cheats' help rather than hinder the population.

Explore further: Darwin 2.0: Scientists shed new light on how species diverge

More information: MacLean RC, Fuentes-Hernandez A, Greig D, Hurst LD, Gudelj I (2010) A Mixture of ''Cheats'' and ''Co-Operators'' Can Enable Maximal Group Benefit. PLoS Biol 8(9): e1000486. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000486

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ormondotvos
2.9 / 5 (12) Sep 14, 2010
Today's propaganda from the business community. Greed is good says it more obviously.

This is a great distortion.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (15) Sep 14, 2010
"Charity, while a virtuous act, cannot alone provide the essentials for living. Self-interest is the mechanism that can remedy this shortcoming. Said Smith: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest” "
http://www.econli...ith.html
Who is greedy? The 'cheating' yeast.
CSharpner
3.9 / 5 (9) Sep 14, 2010
Today's propaganda from the business community. Greed is good says it more obviously.

This is a great distortion.

The truth doesn't care what our preferences are. Sometimes the truth is "inconvenient". Sometimes the truth hurts. Just as quoted above, all the cool products and services that make your life better aren't made out of the goodness of the hearts of the people in the companies. They're made so the owners and employees can make a profit. You benefit by their and their competitors attempts to out do the other to win your choice of who to trade cash for product. Your decision isn't based out of the goodness of your heart either. Your buying to satisfy a need or want for yourself or those close to you. As a result of your self interest and the self interest of the people competing for your money, we all win. Products and services improve over time, for the most part, because of this. It's like natural selection and evolution. The freedom to choose...
ArtflDgr
2.8 / 5 (10) Sep 14, 2010
ormondotvos, what do you propose, an ideological answer which has a 100% failure rate?
Caliban
3 / 5 (9) Sep 14, 2010
Either stance is oversimplification.
all sysems rely on feedback circuits to maximize efficiency.

Some are more responsive than others, because some have fewer inhibitory processes inbuilt. A yeast population is a far more simple system than an economy.

And, I will add, far more "honest" when responding to feedback -as opposed to an economy as defined by mongo and CS, above, which is well-known for actively resisting/cheating/colluding to overcome negative feedback fron it's "environment" -whether that be from consumers, competitors, regulation or legal intervention.
mosahlah
1.4 / 5 (11) Sep 14, 2010
Today's propaganda from the business community. Greed is good says it more obviously.

This is a great distortion.


Why do liberals believe so readily in Darwinism, and believe so deeply in its folly?
Question
4 / 5 (6) Sep 14, 2010
Quote from article:
"Institute for Evolutionary Biology studied populations of yeast and found that a mixture of 'co-operators' and 'cheats' grew faster than a more utopian one of only "co-operators."

They ran the test with only co-operators but
I wonder what the results would have been if only "cheats" were in the mixture??
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 14, 2010

And, I will add, far more "honest" when responding to feedback -as opposed to an economy as defined by mongo and CS, above, which is well-known for actively resisting/cheating/colluding to overcome negative feedback fron it's "environment" -whether that be from consumers, competitors, regulation or legal intervention.

Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? Without the govt holding their hands?
Starblade_Enkai
5 / 5 (1) Sep 14, 2010
Investment into development is far more important than the willingness to do good.
moj85
5 / 5 (6) Sep 15, 2010

They ran the test with only co-operators but
I wonder what the results would have been if only "cheats" were in the mixture??

I'm assuming a population of only cheaters would die quickly. The invertase is used to convert un-usable sucrose into usable glucose, so without the co-operators no food source would be available.
marjon
2.1 / 5 (10) Sep 15, 2010

They ran the test with only co-operators but
I wonder what the results would have been if only "cheats" were in the mixture??

I'm assuming a population of only cheaters would die quickly. The invertase is used to convert un-usable sucrose into usable glucose, so without the co-operators no food source would be available.

Communist states have proven this over and over....
Thrasymachus
2.4 / 5 (14) Sep 15, 2010
Communist states have proven this over and over....

Yeah, because yeast that waste energy producing an enzyme that benefits other yeast without any reciprocal benefit (i.e. trade) from those other yeast are somehow equivalent to the capitalist, who will only do anything with his resources if he gets the most benefit out of it.

Both pure capitalism and pure communism suffer from the same flaw. They only work, even theoretically, if everyone was basically benevolent, trusting and trustworthy and nobody lacked the relevant knowledge they need to make decisions. A judicious compromise between the two is the only reasonable answer. It seems as if the yeast agree.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2010
In any situation where a large population is dependent upon its constitutents one must have variation, be it physiologically or psychologically in order to maintain group functionality. If everyone was greedy no wealth would exist as resources wouldn't circulate. If everyone was altruistic wealth wouldn't exist as there would be no basis upon which wealth would be created. As seen in biology, economics, psychology, and sociology, a group of same individuals always fails in the long run.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2010

And, I will add, far more "honest" when responding to feedback -as opposed to an economy as defined by mongo and CS, above, which is well-known for actively resisting/cheating/colluding to overcome negative feedback fron it's "environment" -whether that be from consumers, competitors, regulation or legal intervention.

Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? Without the govt holding their hands?


Maryjane,
Do you want to restate what it is that you are suggesting I'm suggesting? It's difficult to respond to a disingenuous question? When it's doubled?

Moron.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2010

And, I will add, far more "honest" when responding to feedback -as opposed to an economy as defined by mongo and CS, above, which is well-known for actively resisting/cheating/colluding to overcome negative feedback fron it's "environment" -whether that be from consumers, competitors, regulation or legal intervention.

Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? Without the govt holding their hands?


Maryjane,
Do you want to restate what it is that you are suggesting I'm suggesting? It's difficult to respond to a disingenuous question? When it's doubled?

Moron.

My question is quite clear. Maybe you should restate if I didn't understand your 'brilliance'.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2010

And, I will add, far more "honest" when responding to feedback -as opposed to an economy as defined by mongo and CS, above, which is well-known for actively resisting/cheating/colluding to overcome negative feedback fron it's "environment" -whether that be from consumers, competitors, regulation or legal intervention.

Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? Without the govt holding their hands?


Maryjane,
Do you want to restate what it is that you are suggesting I'm suggesting? It's difficult to respond to a disingenuous question? When it's doubled?

Moron.

My question is quite clear. Maybe you should restate if I didn't understand your 'brilliance'.


It wasn't at all- in fact, wasn't? even? a proper? Question?

Go blow noise from your datapointarmchair-equipped mangyhole, and don't look to me to sort out your inanity.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Sep 15, 2010
Cali, the question:
"Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? "
Clear enough?
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2010
Cali, the question:
"Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? "
Clear enough?


I think that is a pretty well-established principle. Unfortunately, without complete, timely, relevant information, in addition to regulation and legal consequences, consumer negative feedback is insufficient, in and of itself, as a method of redress in all cases.

Don't you agree?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2010
Cali, the question:
"Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? "
Clear enough?


I think that is a pretty well-established principle. Unfortunately, without complete, timely, relevant information, in addition to regulation and legal consequences, consumer negative feedback is insufficient, in and of itself, as a method of redress in all cases.

Don't you agree?

No.
Caliban
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 16, 2010
Cali, the question:
"Are you suggesting consumers can provide a negative feedback to an economy? "
Clear enough?


I think that is a pretty well-established principle. Unfortunately, without complete, timely, relevant information, in addition to regulation and legal consequences, consumer negative feedback is insufficient, in and of itself, as a method of redress in all cases.

Don't you agree?

No.


Well, that certainly comes as no surprise. I have often noted the ever-widening abyss between the wilfully ignorant wishful thinking you indulge in and actual reality.

Moron.

frajo
3.3 / 5 (7) Sep 16, 2010
I'm assuming a population of only cheaters would die quickly. The invertase is used to convert un-usable sucrose into usable glucose, so without the co-operators no food source would be available.

Communist states have proven this over and over....
A communist state like the CCCP with a population of 200 million was consisting _only_ of cheaters?
I appreciate how rightwing ideology uncovers itself.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (6) Sep 16, 2010
If everyone was greedy no wealth would exist as resources wouldn't circulate.

Is Bill Gates greedy?
Bill Gates created products and services that created wealth for his customers and subsequently for his employees, stock holders and himself.
Thousands of entrepreneurs like Gates do the same every day. They create wealth for themselves and their customers. Some say that is greedy.
I don't.
frajo
3 / 5 (8) Sep 16, 2010
Is Bill Gates greedy?
Bill Gates created products and services that created wealth for his customers and subsequently for his employees, stock holders and himself.
Thousands of entrepreneurs like Gates do the same every day. They create wealth for themselves and their customers. Some say that is greedy.
I don't.
By pressing their OS into the market although there was (and is) a thoroughly better one - OS/2 - Microsoft did a disservice to mankind and destroyed a lot of courageous businesses and invalidated a lot of ingenious work. For the capitalist market is not driven by honesty.

The same holds true for Betamax vs. VHS and a lot of other products which were technically superior but had to be abandoned because worse products were better advertized.
Obviously this system of production and distribution, called capitalism, is not the best one can think of because honesty (the honesty to not let greed destroy better products) is punished within this system.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 16, 2010
For the capitalist market is not driven by honesty.

Of course is must be to stay in business.
worse products were better advertized

They were not worse for the customers. Quality is meeting the need of the customer.
frajo
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 17, 2010
For the capitalist market is not driven by honesty.
Of course is must be to stay in business.
The same user who hours ago claimed that all 200 million inhabitants of the former CCCP have been cheaters now claims that businesses in the capitalist world are forced to be honest to stay in business. :)
A comic strip mind set is showing up here and is not ashamed.
Neither is he of adulterating my text in order to make a weak point:
worse products were better advertized
They were not worse for the customers. Quality is meeting the need of the customer.

My text was comparing the clash between technical superiority and marketing advantages.
Your not mentioning of the issue of technical superiority is an act of dishonesty.
Your generalization of the individual needs of different consumers to some most stupid entity called "the consumer" according to your implicit definition is an act of dishonesty, too.
xznofile
5 / 5 (2) Sep 18, 2010
the extrapolation from greed to conservation and yeast to people, lacks some intervening stages.
Objectivist
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 18, 2010
... Microsoft did a disservice to mankind and destroyed a lot of courageous businesses and invalidated a lot of ingenious work. For the capitalist market is not driven by honesty.

False logic. You don't explain the relation between honesty and the good of mankind. The very thought of it is absurdly Disney. Any strong species is driven by self interest. Any cooperation is ultimately done in self interest. Selflessness, by helping the weaker, is, while not in all cases, in general that which cripples a species, as you can easily understand. What's important to remember is to never suffer from this type of hubris and simply assume you can possibly decide what's best for mankind, neither you nor I are that wise.
The best system is without doubt liberal and capitalistic. Why? Because it's darwinistic, just like our universe. It follows our reality, and plays by its rules, instead of desperately trying to cheat them by giving false hope--such as the case of communism.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 18, 2010
businesses in the capitalist world are forced to be honest to stay in business. :)

In a free market, businesses are kept honest by competition.
"The moral demands of honesty and transparency are foundational principles for investing in a free economy. A cavalier approach to these demands serves the cause of those who would restrict the economic liberty. "
http://www.acton....e-market
Dishonesty in markets is facilitated by the cover of govt regulations as Madoff demonstrated.
Your not mentioning of the issue of technical superiority is an act of dishonesty.

No it is not. Define technical superiority? A BMW is technically superior to many other autos, but many don't appreciate or want that 'superiority'.
As for Beta tape, the issue is now quite mute. The market has settled on blue ray, for now, until something better replaces it. The customer decides technical superiority.
marjon
1.9 / 5 (9) Sep 18, 2010
"Much of its success was because Windows 3.0 (along with MS-DOS) was bundled with most new computers.[11] OS/2, on the other hand, was only available as an expensive stand-alone software package. In addition, OS/2 lacked device drivers for many common devices such as printers, particularly non-IBM hardware.[12] Windows, on the other hand, supported a much larger variety of hardware. "
"VHS camcorders could review footage in the camcorder and copy to another VCR for editing. (Two Beta decks and a Betamovie were required for similar functionality, and this still did not allow a videographer to review footage in the field.) "
The ultimate failure of OS/2 and Beta was, as I said, caused by their failure to satisfy the needs of the customer.
""I don't view IBM as a hardware vendor anymore," he says. "I think of them as an IT vendor that can help me in a number of different ways. If I've got a requirement, I go to [my IBM rep] and expect to get the right expert."
http://money.cnn.com/magazi
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2010
For the capitalist market is not driven by honesty.

Of course is must be to stay in business.
Put the pipe down.

worse products were better advertized

They were not worse for the customers. Quality is meeting the need of the customer.

And marketing is conning the customer into thinking that your product is more well suited to their needs.
Microsoft did a disservice to mankind and destroyed a lot of courageous businesses and invalidated a lot of ingenious work.
@Frajo, that is the nature of business. Microsoft has created a more connected world, along with many other companies. Far from a disservice.
Objectivist
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2010
It's funny how people can still insist that communism works, given that _every_ communist state has crashed completely. Then again idealists don't really think, as much as they hope. And they always project their egocentrical views upon others, paving the way for dictatorship. What's worse is that these people aren't ashamed of it. They would be up for the task as ruling dictator if given the opportunity. Then they dare talk about "honesty" and the "good of mankind". Fortunately most idealists are kids that hopefully will grow up and see the flaws of their logic.
frajo
2.6 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2010
Microsoft did a disservice to mankind and destroyed a lot of courageous businesses and invalidated a lot of ingenious work.
that is the nature of business.
Of business in a capitalist world, yes.
Microsoft has created a more connected world, along with many other companies.
MS has _created_ exactly nothing technically. They have adulterated and exploited technical progress but they didn't _create_ it.
Far from a disservice.
The dominance of MS operating systems is the worst case of any conceivable OS world dominance pattern. Of course, in a MS dominated environment like this PhysOrg forum you won't find many persons with judgement competence for more than zwo operating systems.
Therefore, anyone who is really interested should visit a OS neutral OS forum like osnews.com to raise the question about MS's contribution to technical development.
frajo
3.8 / 5 (10) Sep 19, 2010
businesses in the capitalist world are forced to be honest to stay in business. :)

In a free market, businesses are kept honest by competition.
A textbook example of marjon's method to adulterate other people's text. The quote is from one of my comments where I stated exactly the contrary of what marjon suggests I've done.

As this is not the first time I have to conclude that this method is used systematically by marjon. That all his quotings may well have been stripped of their contexts.
I'll adjust my behaviour accordingly.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2010
Of business in a capitalist world, yes.
There is no other world currently in existence so I'm not sure where you're going with this.
Microsoft has created a more connected world, along with many other companies.
MS has _created_ exactly nothing technically. They have adulterated and exploited technical progress but they didn't _create_ it.
I'm sorry but this is patently false. They've inplemented the majority of universal code compliance models which allow for information systems to function as they do today. Without MS, we may not have anywhere near the interoperability that we do today.
The dominance of MS operating systems is the worst case of any conceivable OS world dominance pattern.
Actually that title belongs to Novell's security context, Netware.
Therefore, anyone who is really interested should visit a OS neutral OS forum like osnews.com
Which is run by 3 of the biggest names in LINUX. Hardly neutral frajo.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2010
The quote is from one of my comments where I stated exactly the contrary of what marjon suggests I've done.

If I misquoted you, restate.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2010
Put the pipe down.

So, once again, a flip response instead of proving your case.
Objectivist
1 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2010
We get it frajo, you love FOSS. So do I. You're however confusing FOSS with socialism. FOSS belongs to the liberals, and if you can't see the relation between FREEDOM and LIBERAL I have no more to say. All I'm thinking right now is that I'm discussing idealism with a kid, and that it is rather pointless. I'm sorry to be repeating what you've heard a million times but: you'll understand when you get older. We were all once idealists.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2010
What is FOSS?
Objectivist
4 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2010
You couldn't just google it?

http://en.wikiped...software
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2010
You couldn't just google it?

http://en.wikiped...software

You can't define terms?
Writing classes used to teach how to add footnotes and references.
As Rush says, people value what they pay for. How much does FOSS cost?

Objectivist
3 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2010
You can't define terms?
Writing classes used to teach how to add footnotes and references.
As Rush says, people value what they pay for. How much does FOSS cost?

My apologies. I suppose I assume most people know how to utilize the most broadly used function on internet. I suppose you're asking what FOSS is worth to the consumer, and that I'm completely uninterested in. In a business environment your strongest argument is just that--cost. And I'll promise you one thing, if you tell the management that your solution is free, then there is no discussion about it.
otto1932
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
In a free market, businesses are kept honest by competition.
Yes, I guess melamine may actually have been healthier for babies and companion animals. And orange juice for babies may not actually need orange juice in it to be nutritious... enough.
MS has _created_ exactly nothing technically. They have adulterated and exploited technical progress but they didn't _create_ it.
Are you nuts??
What is FOSS?
Its pretty near to FOAD in google.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2010
Yes, I guess melamine may actually have been healthier for babies and companion animals.

Consumers discovered the contamination and the importer, subject to product liability, recalled the products. Govt regulations did not discover the contamination. In one respect, govt regulations contributed to the contamination. Tests were required for minimum protein content and the melamine was a cheap way to pass the test.

The market discovered and rectified the fraud and the NSF, a private company is now providing quality testing services in China.

Computer viruses are free. How many viruses are written by Mcaffee or Norton?
Kedas
1.5 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2010
Heroes always use more resources than the average one.
It's easily forgiven.
ForFreeMinds
2.2 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2010
Funny all the posts on society, this study was about yeast. Extrapolating to humans is quite a leap.
gwargh
3 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2010
I find the title disingenuous. The study found that the entire population focusing all its efforts on producing an enzyme for a limited resource is less advantageous than only part of it creating that one enzyme. Nothing really exciting about that, overproduction is rarely, if ever, advantageous, although I guess it doesn't make as good of an article.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2010
Funny all the posts on society, this study was about yeast. Extrapolating to humans is quite a leap.

There is a study about anti-oxidants here that extrapolates from rats.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
Funny all the posts on society, this study was about yeast. Extrapolating to humans is quite a leap.

There is a study about anti-oxidants here that extrapolates from rats.

Our biochemistry is very similar.
otto1932
5 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2010
Consumers discovered the contamination and the importer, subject to product liability, recalled the products.
Yeah, because some babies and some pets died. Because unbridled competition drove manufacturers to cheat. Which is inevitable.
nevdka
2.2 / 5 (5) Sep 20, 2010
Capitalism and greed are far better at generating wealth than any other system that's been tried, but quality of life isn't only dependent on wealth. The computer I'm typing this on exists because of capitalism, but I can afford it because of public education and taxpayer-supported university places.

The world hasn't seen pure capitalism or pure communism. Pure communism would be better at generating wealth than pure capitalism - cooperation trumps competition. But we haven't seen this yet - people are (in general) too dumb for pure communism, and too smart for pure capitalism.

As for me, I'm happy living in a country with socialized health care - I pay less tax and have more $ invested than if I earned the same money (anything less than about $300k... I got bored before I figured out the exact amount) in Silicon Valley, and I don't need to worry about health insurance. Or my job. 5.1% unemployment is sweet...
Mesafina
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2010
Today's propaganda from the business community. Greed is good says it more obviously.

This is a great distortion.


Why do liberals believe so readily in Darwinism, and believe so deeply in its folly?


This is a great assumption. I consider myself to be "progressive" in my beliefs, in that I believe the government and society have little role in people's personal lives. I tend to be more conservative in my economic views, as I believe that the free market is the greatest engine of innovation the world has ever known. That said, Democrats and Republicans offer almost the exact same political practices. Just check the administrations and congress's under both parties through history. In the last 50 years they have operated almost identically once in power, despite their claimed differences in opinion. Don't be to quick to trust any politician, no matter what side they claim to be on.
frajo
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 20, 2010
Capitalism and greed are far better at generating wealth than any other system that's been tried
As long as you don't mention the distribution of wealth in the underlying society and the position of the speaker in this distribution your statement has no value.
An aristocrat living in an absolutist society could say the same and it would be true - for him. Or a figure like Ceaucescu in a society of what uneducated people call communism.

The difficult question is not what is "the best" for one single individual -- of course everything which enriches him, no matter how many other people bite the dust.
Rather it is the question, which distribution of wealth and ressources is optimal for a healthy development of society.
And fundamentally, there is just one society on this planet: mankind.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 20, 2010
Rather it is the question, which distribution of wealth and ressources is optimal for a healthy development of society.
And fundamentally, there is just one society on this planet: mankind.

That society is made up of INDIVIDUALS.
Any wealth 'distribution' must respect the individual or it will fail.
Yeah, because some babies and some pets died. Because unbridled competition drove manufacturers to cheat. Which is inevitable.

It was govt regulations which enabled and encouraged the 'cheating'.
Chinese companies hired NSF to certify their products as the govt can't be trusted.
marjon
1 / 5 (8) Sep 20, 2010
Funny all the posts on society, this study was about yeast. Extrapolating to humans is quite a leap.

There is a study about anti-oxidants here that extrapolates from rats.

Our biochemistry is very similar.

The biochemistry of each human is not the same.
otto1932
4 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
Chinese companies hired NSF to certify their products as the govt can't be trusted.
Because they were forced to?

"Two men have been executed in China for selling hundreds of tonnes of contaminated milk that killed six babies and made 300,000 ill."
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
That society is made up of INDIVIDUALS.
Any wealth 'distribution' must respect the individual or it will fail.
Your body is made up of individual cells, yet the food you eat and water you drink is shared equitably between them based on need. When this resource distribution system fails, you die. Would you like to see society die?
Our biochemistry is very similar.
The biochemistry of each human is not the same.

Sorry, you are not a unique and individual snowflake tailored by a great creator.

You're a slightly evolved ape that has the same biochemical signatures as all other apes to an extent of 99.9999999% If you would like to refute that, start publishing your evidence.

If you were right, there'd be a lot more dead people out there with no liver, no kidneys, no blood, no bone marrow, etc, etc, etc.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 20, 2010
Sorry, you are not a unique and individual snowflake tailored by a great creator.

It what you say is true, drug testing would not need trials. If it works for one human it will work for all.
BTW, do you care what blood type you might need? There are at at least 8 types of blood.
Thrasymachus
2.4 / 5 (14) Sep 20, 2010
Marjon, if what you insinuate were true, no drug or food would ever do the same thing to two people. Hasn't your mother ever told you that it's not the differences that matter, but how we're all the same? We are far, far more alike than different, that's why medicine works at all. Your insistence that you are different, unique and special, and your aversion to anything that connects you to other people, or other people to each other, is the strongest hallmark of a sociopath.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Sep 20, 2010
Your insistence that you are different, unique and special, and your aversion to anything that connects you to other people, or other people to each other, is the strongest hallmark of a sociopath.

Your insistence that we are all the same, one part of the greater whole of mankind is the start down the path to socialism and tyranny.
Until we are all forced into a collective mind like the Borg, we are ALL individuals, unique and different.
I thought 'liberals' celebrated diversity?
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 20, 2010
We do celebrate diversity. The basis of diversity is tolerance. The foundation of tolerance is the recognition that fundamentally, we are all the same, with the same basic wants, needs, hopes and fears.

I am opposed to fascism, where one or a group of powerful, private individuals co-opt control of a society, and force it to serve their desires. Your individualism is not a celebration of the uniqueness of of each of us, but a denial of our ability to band together to protect ourselves from the tyrant and barbarian. You view this protection as oppressive socialism, and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that you want the freedom to be a tyrant and barbarian, that you oppose anyone's freedom who does not bow to yours first.
Mesafina
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 20, 2010
Thrasymachus is correct, if you value your individuality you must be tolerant of others. If a group of people want to form a socialist government to live under, your government has no right to say they cant, anymore then they they have the right to force their views on you. The irony of men is their double-vision... fear leads them to guard their own perceived freedoms at the expense of others around them.

It would be better if our society recognized a new right, the right for any citizen to form a government and for any citizen to join any government of their choosing. This would allow for various groups to experiment with different social ideas without having to force others into compliance who aren't interested. All governments would need to pay into basics like police and defense but besides that it should all depend on the government you choose to create/join.
Nyloc
5 / 5 (1) Sep 20, 2010
I remain stunned that many clutter this scientific website with their deeply held political agendas. It's preferable to leave political and religious biases on FaceBook and instead consider the evidence and ideas put forward here.

A blend of "cooperators" and "cheats" provides the greatest benefit in yeast, just as a blend of altruism and self-interest provides for the greatest common good. This is why capitalism left unchecked has consistently led to monopolies with a few wealthy people at the top and most in poverty. Free information, the rule of law, and a few people sacrificing their own self-interest for the common good has been necessary to restore persistent imbalances which threaten market economies.

It is not in the interest of the planet for humans to consume all the available resources. We would do well to consider the optimal balance of supply and demand to ensure a sustainable future.

Here we may choose to differ from yeast.
Javinator
5 / 5 (4) Sep 21, 2010
The biochemistry of each human is not the same


It's pretty gosh darn similar given that we're all part of the same species.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010
The biochemistry of each human is not the same


It's pretty gosh darn similar given that we're all part of the same species.

We all can't share the same blood or organs.

Celebrate diversity!

This is why capitalism left unchecked has consistently led to monopolies with a few wealthy people at the top and most in poverty.

BS. Only governments can establish and protect monopolies.
Free markets enable competition. 'Unchecked capitalism' is an oxymoron. Capitalism is 'checked' by competition and consumers.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2010
We all can't share the same blood or organs.

Celebrate diversity!
This shows the ignorance in your posts. Medically our organs operate for the machine in which they were grown. The proteins that construct them are the same in all cases. As to my transplant comments, that was in reference to the multitude of non-human organs that we use in transplants.
BS. Only governments can establish and protect monopolies.
Free markets enable competition. 'Unchecked capitalism' is an oxymoron. Capitalism is 'checked' by competition and consumers.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 21, 2010
BS. Only governments can establish and protect monopolies.
Free markets enable competition. 'Unchecked capitalism' is an oxymoron. Capitalism is 'checked' by competition and consumers.

Bs. Monopolies are almost self-created, and then maintained and expanded through undue influence over governmental apparatus to create regulation favorable to that monopoly's maintenance. Just as maryjane uses physorg to promote and maintain her near-monopoly of hypocrisy.

"Consumers"(as opposed to "Producers") can only refuse to purchase things that they can readily live -and function- without. See how long you could make it without heat or fresh water, margie- those eruptions on your backside would soon befoul your datapoint armchair to such an extent that you would be forced to exit the mangyhole!!

Which would be a very good thing thing for the rest of us.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010
Monopolies are almost self-created, and then maintained and expanded through undue influence over governmental apparatus to create regulation favorable to that monopoly's maintenance.

The poor little government, that has all the power, somehow succumbs to the big bad company?
What a load!
So, you agree, a company can't have a monopoly with the force of the state.
I have asked many times for examples of any company that is a monopoly that does not have the force of law to protect their monopoly. None have been provided to date.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Prove it.
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 21, 2010
You do realize, marjon, that there are laws on the books that compel the Attorney General to prosecute and break up monopolies in the U.S., right? The propensity of a firm to become a monopoly is well known, and they don't have to rely on government force to do it. In any competitive situation where winning the competition contributes to success in further competition, early winners come to dominate all subsequent competition. In business terms, this means they are able to lower their prices to such a degree that nobody else could compete and capture enough profit to cover the costs of entry. Eventually, the firm that is able to get its product to the market at the lowest cost is the only one left. No effective competition means no or very slow innovation, and the actions monopolies take to defend themselves from innovation inevitably corrupt governments.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010
Medically our organs operate for the machine in which they were grown. The proteins that construct them are the same in all cases.


Unless your blood type is AB+ you had better hope the doctor types the blood before a transfusion.
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 21, 2010
The very fact that blood transfusions work at all undermines your point marjon.
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Sep 21, 2010
The propensity of a firm to become a monopoly is well known, and they don't have to rely on government force to do it.

Govt force is required to maintain a monopoly.
A company can TRY to become a monopoly, but with competition, they don't succeed.
When govt force is used to 'break up' an accused monopoly it is at the behest of a competitor that would rather pay off politicians than compete for customers.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010
The very fact that blood transfusions work at all undermines your point marjon.

Not if you get the wrong blood type.
Transplanted organs are normally rejected. Drugs are required to prevent rejection.
Sure, we are all cogs in the wheel of state to you?
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010
No effective competition means no or very slow innovation, and the actions monopolies take to defend themselves from innovation inevitably corrupt governments.

So lets give the govt MORE power so the politicians can demand more protection money?
The answer I usually get from socialists that if we only had the 'right' people running govt. Those pure of heart, honest govt servants that only want the best for us! (sarcasm)
The Constitution was designed assuming govt would try to usurp more power, and they were correct. Voters need to take that power away in NOV.
If no competition exists in a free market, it is because their is insufficient demand.
Sure, their is no reason for the company to innovate a product few want. But this is an opportunity for a competitor to innovate a new product and increase demand.
Cell phone products are a fine example. Who knew so many would want cell phones that play TV?
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 21, 2010

If no competition exists in a free market, it is because their is insufficient demand.


OR a MONOPOLY exists, and/or it is a mature market and/or a saturated market.

Your bucket of sophistry doesn't hold water, moron.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Sep 21, 2010
Government power is corrupted when there are no internal checks and balances to the exercise of that power and private firms become powerful enough to influence its decision making processes and bribe legislators and regulators to write new law/regulations and enforce them in its favor. Government power is a necessary preventative for unchecked private power, which is after all one of the reasons we have a government in the first place. The complete absence of government, which is what you continually imply that you want, simply doesn't work.
frajo
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2010
The complete absence of government, which is what you continually imply that you want, simply doesn't work.
Well, it works. But not in a way more than very few people would appreciate.
Evidence for a society without government: Somalia.
Evidence for "societies" with pseudo governments: Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo.

War lords do enjoy their freedom from governments. The general population not so much.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2010
War lords do enjoy their freedom from governments. The general population not so much.
War lords are the government in those instances. Anarchy doesn't work because there is always a person, or group of people, in power, which is "government". Anarchy is only a transitional state between different types of government, and is often a rather short lived transition at that.
frajo
4 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2010
War lords do enjoy their freedom from governments. The general population not so much.
War lords are the government in those instances. Anarchy doesn't work because there is always a person, or group of people, in power, which is "government". Anarchy is only a transitional state between different types of government, and is often a rather short lived transition at that.
Essentially, we agree. But I wouldn't use the term "government" for this kind of unformatted exertion of power. Perhaps "virtual government"?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2010
Essentially, we agree. But I wouldn't use the term "government" for this kind of unformatted exertion of power. Perhaps "virtual government"?
Well, perhaps I see it a little differently. Effectively this is tribal government, typically based on who has the most primary or secondary reinforcers allowing totalitarian like dominance over the "population". If anything the government in this instance would be the "virtual government" while the warlords would represent the actual authority.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2010
Evidence for a society without government: Somalia.

http://www.nytime...lia.html
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 22, 2010
We would probably have to refer to those people living beyond the reach of Warlords as having an "amorphous" government -some would practice actual democracy, some terror, some communism or socialism- it would run the gamut, depending upon the operational size of the group referred to.
Thrasymachus
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 22, 2010
Historically, if a government has not been an outright dictatorship, it has been some form of semi-democratic plutocratic bureaucracy. Dictatorships are what you might call the "ground state" of civilized government. Easy to administer, fast to make decisions, and cheap to fund. The more pure democracy you have in your government, the more political energy, and money, it takes to get anything done. Modern republics are semi-democratic bureaucracies that are not designed to be specifically plutocratic, but the influence of money on politics has meant that largely they are still plutocratic. The general trend of social advancement has been to slowly limit the influence of the plutocrats on the political process. Marjon would want to eliminate all such limitations on the power of any private individual, and so would throw us back to the most primitive form of civilized governance, the dictatorship.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2010
I have stated, over and over and over, I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
How does that lead to dictatorship?
I suggest the path the USA is on now, ignoring the Constitution with the President writing his own laws IS a dictatorship.
War lords do enjoy their freedom from governments.

Government is pure force. The authors and signers of the Constitution understood that and sought to limit the power of the state AND asserted that all real power is from the consent of the governed. Which IS really true.
Unless you have a prison state like DPRK (which is aided and abetted by China) such dictator DO need people to have power. Had the assassination attempts against Hilter succeed, ...? Even war lords need followers.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2010
Government power is corrupted when there are no internal checks and balances

The US Constitution has checks and balances. They only work when they are followed and we have politicians who are not Marxists.
"Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist. "
http://www.politi...726.html
"Barack Obama has a thing for Marxists. He befriends them, listens to their counsel, and he even hires them to work in his campaign."
http://www.americ...ist.html
http://gatewaypun...n-video/
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2010
"The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move."

Read More http://www.wired....0JCEEqF1
What powerful corporate interest wants to track suspect vehicles?
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2010
"We now have confirmation that Barack Obama truly loves poor people. Because he is creating so many of them."
"Obamanomics now seems to be reviving inflation as well, with prices for gold and silver last week rising to record levels. We haven't seen that stagflation since Jimmy Carter's 1970s, the last time the throwback Keynesian economics at the center of Obamanomics was in power."
http://spectator....ling-cla
So what corporate interests are corrupting Obama?
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2010
For those dissing the tea party:

"Despite their years of expertise, some Beltway insiders of all varieties -- press, pundits, politicians and strategists -- some friends of mine -- only dimly understand the tea party phenomenon. Spontaneous in its formation and wide-ranging in its composition, the tea party upwelling is the first genuine grassroots movement in American politics in decades."
http://www.realcl...256.html

For you 'moderates' who plan to march on Washington, what do you get excited about? After all, you are 'moderate'.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2010
The general trend of social advancement has been to slowly limit the influence of the plutocrats on the political process.

The general trend in social 'advancement' is the destruction of individual liberty by a more powerful government.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2010
Essentially, we agree. But I wouldn't use the term "government" for this kind of unformatted exertion of power. Perhaps "virtual government"?
Well, perhaps I see it a little differently. Effectively this is tribal government, typically based on who has the most primary or secondary reinforcers allowing totalitarian like dominance over the "population".
On a second thought, I could find some advantage in using a terminology which unifies power structures of war lords, cosa nostra, absolutism, pluto-, and democracy as well as their transition phases.
frajo
5 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2010
Dictatorships are what you might call the "ground state" of civilized government. Easy to administer, fast to make decisions, and cheap to fund. The more pure democracy you have in your government, the more political energy, and money, it takes to get anything done.
One important difference is their stability. It's easy to overthrow a dictatorship that does not have considerable funding for its "security". And it's honorable - until the day it becomes a dictatorship (usually the 2nd day).
The more plutocracy we have in a government (and subsequently injustice in a population), the more money has to be "invested" in "security" (from the restoring forces inherent to a stretched distribution) which has to be sold as "necessary costs of freedom".
frajo
3.8 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2010
I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".
frajo
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2010
The US Constitution has checks and balances. They only work when they are followed and we have politicians who are not Marxists.
They didn't work for Native People, they didn't work for Blacks, they didn't work for women.
They don't work for Afghanistan and Iraq.
They work for the wealthy ones - if there are no "Marxists".
"Barack Obama has a thing for Marxists. He befriends them, listens to their counsel, and he even hires them to work in his campaign."
Better than to have a thing for a killer like Pinochet and his US supporters.
Besides, it's prudent to befriend people when you have a trade deficit of two trillion US$.
otto1932
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2010
They didn't work for Native People, they didn't work for Blacks, they didn't work for women.
They don't work for Afghanistan and Iraq.
They work for the wealthy ones - if there are no "Marxists".
You want everything NOW? The west is a work in progress.

The groups you mention are free, largely, after much work. Afghanistan and Iraq need to surrender their obsession with the past, live in the present, or they will remain a serious danger to world peace and stability.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".
Your disaffected idealism is sometimes cloying. You forgot to mention the kurds, the marsh arabs, kuwaitis, pol pot, the rape of nanking, bataan death march, etc.
otto1932
5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2010
Spontaneous in its formation and wide-ranging in its composition, the tea party upwelling is the first genuine grassroots movement in American politics in decades."
Baloney. Tea party is Ross Perot all over again, Designed to split the conservative vote when it counts, ensure a continuing liberal majority, and keep the money presses running. Probably.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2010
"Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. "

They didn't work for Native People, they didn't work for Blacks, they didn't work for women.

Check out the 14th, 19 th Amendments.

"About as many registered voters say they agree with the Tea Party movement as disagree (29% vs. 26%).

Independent voters are more likely to say they agree with the Tea Party movement than disagree (by 30% to 22%).

Among likely voters, more agree than disagree with the Tea Party (36% vs. 29%).

And among independent likely voters, 39% agree with the Tea Party, compared with 26% who disagree."
http://pewresearc...ervative
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2010
I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".

What?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2010
I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".

"The foundation of all inherent rights, and their only exception, is the Non-Aggression Principle: Do not initiate force or fraud against another's person or property. You may use it to the extent reasonably necessary for self-defense (including defense of others), but don't be the one to start it. In other words, except in self-defense, do not harm anyone, do not harm or steal anyone's property, do not break your word, do not try to coerce anyone by threatening to do any of these things, and do not advocate doing any of these things. "
http://freecountr...hts.html
I agree with this.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
They didn't work for Native People, they didn't work for Blacks, they didn't work for women.
They don't work for Afghanistan and Iraq.
They work for the wealthy ones - if there are no "Marxists".
The west is a work in progress.
The planet is; I'm trying to contribute. Progress does not exhibit monotonicity.
The groups you mention are free, largely, after much work.
Freed of their lives.
Afghanistan and Iraq need to surrender
From the "Standard Phrases for Invaders".
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".
Your disaffected
Curious?
idealism
Dissecting a morass of idealistic words and dirty deeds.
You forgot to mention the kurds, the marsh arabs, kuwaitis, pol pot, the rape of nanking, bataan death march, etc.
You forgot that I was answering marjon's apotheosis of the US Constitution. The crimes in your list cannot - IMHO - be attributed to supporters of the US Constitution.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
They didn't work for Native People, they didn't work for Blacks, they didn't work for women.

Check out the 14th, 19 th Amendments.
You preaching. Me reporting.
And dissecting the morass of words and deeds.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".
"The foundation of all inherent rights, and their only exception, is the Non-Aggression Principle
Innocent victims are not aggressors.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
"Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. "
Yes, Tea Party supporters, not tea party members. Showing us once again that the corporate intelligensia is supporting the TEA party.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
I support the US Constitution and its protection of INDIVIDUAL, INHERENT rights.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, My Lai, Iraq. Innocent victims, justified by preachers of "inherent rights".
"The foundation of all inherent rights, and their only exception, is the Non-Aggression Principle
Innocent victims are not aggressors.

The people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Iraq were victims of their government. I'm sure how innocent.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Sep 24, 2010
"Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. "
Yes, Tea Party supporters, not tea party members. Showing us once again that the corporate intelligensia is supporting the TEA party.

So you assert. You assert much.

Correction from above:
The people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Iraq were victims of their government. I'm not sure how innocent as many here believe people must want to live under tyranny. The idea that humans have the same inherent rights to life suggest those that have liberty should aid those that do not. Maybe that is why so many oppose liberty in general, it leads to responsibility, as Frankl posits with his Statue of Responsibility.
Caliban
2 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
Maybe that is why so many oppose liberty in general, it leads to responsibility, as Frankl posits with his Statue of Responsibility.


Or, in maryjane's case, liberty confers the Responsibility to serve Corporatocracy.

What was that Dylan song-- "You Gotta Serve Someone"?

Was he referring to your God, MAMMON, mongo?

I'm thinking that your Masters should erect a statue of Mammon at the Ground Zero site, and then they could employ you full-time to coat it with laminate of troll-emissions. At least you would then serve some understandable purpose.

marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2010
How does promoting individual liberty and the US Constitution lead to 'Corporatocracy'?
otto1932
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2010
You forgot that I was answering marjon's apotheosis of the US Constitution. The crimes in your list cannot - IMHO - be attributed to supporters of the US Constitution.
Nothing in there that says the US can't assist allies in need- such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia- or oppressed peoples anywhere, by using force to do so.
otto1932
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2010
Freed of their lives.
Saddam was once asked why he invaded Kuwait. He answered "because my army was beginning to be a problem." So he sent them on a mission which left them arrayed in long straight lines in the desert, and the US had no choice but to carpet-bomb them into oblivion, because their actions also presented a danger to Saudi arabia. Mutual problem solved. Win-win-win.

The same thing happened in afghanistan with the Taliban and the US-allied northern alliance. It exposes a macchiavellian truth about standing armies- if they are not used, they become a problem; they become active politically, and begin warring against their own people. They also forget how to fight; the enemy no longer fears them and their own people can not depend on their protection.

And so history shows time and again how armies are expended to preserve peace. Their very existence makes their use inevitable.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2010
It exposes a macchiavellian truth about standing armies- if they are not used, they become a problem; they become active politically, and begin warring against their own people.

Not when the army is composed of 'the people'. An advantage of the all volunteer force. The challenge for the US Army is to keep the politicians from turning the Army against the people and using the Army as a social experiment.
Driving Iraq from Kuwait was done for pricisely the reason GHWB said, to ensure the free flow of oil at market prices.
Jefferson crushed pirates that inhibited free trade. That is called defense.
otto1932
5 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2010
Unfortunately, volunteer armies like the Greek city-states had cannot compete with professionals- they lack the training and discipline, and technology. So another unfortunate dilemma- standing armies, while essential for a nations security, can also be a great danger to it. Welcome to the real world.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2010
The US has a professional volunteer Army.
The service academies drill into their students the chain of command starts with a civilian and a 4 star is still lower than a civilian in rank.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2010
The US has a professional volunteer Army.
The service academies drill into their students the chain of command starts with a civilian and a 4 star is still lower than a civilian in rank.
Myth. You were talking about militias.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2010
The US has a professional volunteer Army.
The service academies drill into their students the chain of command starts with a civilian and a 4 star is still lower than a civilian in rank.
Myth. You were talking about militias.

What is myth?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2010
"I hit Marine Corps bootcamp on July 7, 1965, a wimpy kid from suburbia.
The first thing we were told was that we were the lowest forms of life on
earth -- and that meant lower than civilians. I was to learn as time went
on that this was not just drill instructor blather. It was a genuine,
deeply ingrained belief that permeated the highest ranks of the military
for civilian control. We were repeatedly told that the lowest civilian we
met on the street outranked the highest grade military officer. And that
was not show. They believed it, not just as a principle, but a sacred
trust."
"Those who never served will likely see that as corny, empty rhetoric,
window dressing, quaint -- at best. But those who did serve know of what I
speak. We get it. That's one reason I bemoan that two generations of kids
have since been spared a stint in uniform. It changed my life in ways I
now understand and appreciate in ways I could not back then.
http://newsgroups...litics.b
otto1932
not rated yet Sep 26, 2010
What is myth?
-That your comment had anything to do with mine.

The 'military industrial complex' as people here are fond of referring to, is a potent political force. And it includes the military power structure in addition to civilian CEOs and their corps. The US military has been kept active enough in conflicts to maintain hugh budgets. But if lasting peace were to break out in the world, it could turn into another beast entirely.

I am only paraphrasing and extrapolating macchiavelli in my posts- these are not new ideas. And we can see the results in various 3rd world countries where an idle officer corps has decided it knows best how to run a country and quell social unrest.
Cont.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2010
-But of course there are bigger Issues at stake.

Our Iran sanctions are targeting the republican guard who haven't fought in a generation and are becoming a business and political power unto themselves as a result. The US might find itself doing a-jad the same favor it did Hussein, by destroying yet one more army.

Or at least offering it 'field training in earnest' to further hone the skills of both sides and so bolster regional Stability through mutual Controlled hostility.

Irans Nuke threat is yet one more reason for western military budgets to remain high, isn't it? And the west would have no Reason to develop cutting edge technologies without worthy adversaries to test them with.
Cont.
otto1932
5 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2010
-Which leads us to yet one more regrettable Truth of war- new tactics and the technologies they are based on are worthless unless tested under actual combat conditions.

There is no way to know for certain that they can be relied on, unless they are actually used in battle against a credible Foe. And yet the need to know this is absolutely Essential. One more Reason to expect conflicts to be Planned and the Results safely Predetermined. Scientifically, so to speak.

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