[LMB] Genetic engineering

Luke Bretscher rocketman0739 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 22:14:12 BST 2019

On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 12:08 PM Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org> wrote:
> On 10/11/19 10:33 AM, Luke Bretscher wrote:
> > Can one really look at the state of the world today and think it's a
> > _good_ thing that people with no empathy are running our nations and
> > corporations??
> In many cases yes.
> Empathy gets in the way of making things work. It's far more important
> that the military *wins* when it fights. Or that the corporation meets
> its profit targets. If it goes out of business then there's nothing for
> anyone. In the final reckoning reality does not care about empathy it
> only cares about results.
> In D&D terms I'd rather have a Lawful Evil government than a Chaotic
> Good one. With the first the laws are known and not arbitrary, and a
> fake sob story doesn't get someone anything they didn't earn. It's fair.
> The second one is just shambolic.

I think you are seriously, dangerously mistaken about the usefulness
of evil. From what I can tell, you are thinking of a government that
is efficient and ruthless in making hard decisions that must be made
for the good of its people. A government like that of Lord Vetinari in
Discworld, for instance. Such a government would be much better
described as Lawful Neutral, because it is willing to do occasional
evil acts but only in service of good ends.

Lawful Evil governments in real life have been responsible for the
worst atrocities in human history. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the like
were all enabled to do the horrible things they did because they put
themselves in charge of vast Lawful administrations. A Chaotic Good
government might get steamrolled by the Lawful Evil one, but that
doesn't mean the common folk of LE-land will be any less oppressed
than the subjugated people of CG-land—much less that being evil in the
first place is justified.

And to step back to corporations, what's important for a corporation
is that it provides a service to society and a decent living for its
workers. That's it. Profit targets mean nothing unless you're Mr.
Moneybags the large-scale shareholder.


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