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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  March 2007

UCD-STAFFORDBEER March 2007

Subject:

Fwd: Re: Fwd: parasitism and viability - one more comment

From:

Leonid Ototsky <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

leo <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:36:16 +0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (114 lines)

---------- Forwarded ----------
From:                  Alexei Sharov <[log in to unmask]>
To:                   leo <[log in to unmask]>
Date:      Mon, 19 Mar 2007 13:56:27 -0400
Subject:      Re: Fwd: parasitism and viability - one more comment

Leonid,

I like this comment that mafia is an indicator of a dysfunctional government.

It happened in Russia as well, and now is happening now in US where the 
government is unable to control the immigration and drug trafficking.

-Alexei

>Dear All,
>
>Sorry to pop in late to the discussion - I've been
>being a tourist in Rome.
>
>Going back a bit, the line between symbiosis and
>parasitism isn't always that clear.  For example, a
>symbiot who eats other parasites living on the host by
>preference may eat directly off the host if none are
>available.
>
>The same is true in society. In the United States,
>before Prohibition it was perfectly legitimate to
>operate a pub.  Then came Prohibition and it was
>criminal, then Prohibition was repealed and it was
>legitimate again.  Some of the activities labeled as
>criminal are providing services that substantial
>numbers of people want to buy such as liquor,
>marijuana, off-track betting and prostitution. All of
>these can be utilized without harm to some or most of
>the population but not to everyone. All of these vary
>in their prohibition from country to country and all
>are legal in some places so this is definately a
>cultural difference. There are also interstices within
>the law (mentioned by Norbert Wiener in "Human Use of
>Human Beings")such as the grey market where people's
>safety and consumer protection are at risk.
>
>As I understand the origins of the Mafia, they filled
>a gap in Sicily where the then Italian government was
>not able to provide the things that governments
>normally provide.  Something similar might be said of
>youth gangs that offer belonging, structure and the
>possibility of gaining respect in a social environment
>where these are in short supply.  Both of these live
>off their societies as parasites but it can be argued
>that they began as result of deficiencies in the
>societies they occupied. A proportion of regular
>crime as well amounts to legitimate goals (prosperity,
>status...) pursued by illegitimate means.
>
>There is a sense in which many legitimate businesses
>and social relations carry an element of exploitation.
>  If it is mutual it approaches fair exchange but when
>it is not they look very parasitic to me. Values come
>in here, especially where a breakdown in trust makes
>the whole atmosphere a bit toxic. It is easy to see
>the extremes but not so easy to draw the line as some
>will feel or be exploited in circumstances where
>others will not.
>
>As to universals, I submit that they exist in a
>general sense such as people should have access to
>legitimate means of living a good life, should be able
>to have trust in their transactions and should have
>some autonomy to make choices on their own behalf.
>These contribute to a viable society and one where the
>worst forms of parasitism will not find a nutrient
>medium. As to particulars and perceptions, they vary.
>There was an excellent example of this emerging into
>Rome with the crowd.  People were dressed in
>everything from short sleeved t-shirts to down jackets
>and scarfs. The air temperature was constant but the
>response was not.
>
>Allenna
>
>
>
>____________________________________________________________________________________
>We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
>(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
>http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265
>
>For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go 
>to:  www.platformforchange.org
>
>
>---------- Конец пересылаемого письма ----------
>--
>С уважением,
>  Leonid                          mailto:[log in to unmask]

Alexei Sharov, PhD, Staff Scientist
Lab. of Genetics, National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH)
333 Cassell Dr., Suite 3000, Baltimore, MD 21224
Phone: 410-558-8556   Fax: 410-558-8331
http://www.grc.nia.nih.gov/branches/lg/dgas/sharov.html
http://www.ento.vt.edu/~sharov/alexei.html 


---------- Конец пересылаемого письма ----------
-- 
С уважением,
 Leonid                          mailto:[log in to unmask]

For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

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