Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I will mention this Gaia theory again. It basically says that beside evolution of organisms there has been evolution of the Gaia "superorganism". The Gaia takes care of healthy environment. Does Gaia also have methods to deal with occasional parasites?

Gaia theory is criticized along the lines that individual organisms or species cannot cooperate since "altruism" is not beneficial to them; organisms waste resourses only for themselves. But if the uncompromisingly selfish behaviour would be optimal, then all species would behave like locust:

Very few species have the luxury of eating up everything they come accross. Most species probably have instinctive or genetic stops not to destroy their own environment. After all, surviving throughout long millenia means not only overcoming stuggle to establish your own niche, but also surviving your own success. The Earth had seen many species that "discovered" unbounded success, and perhaps many of them learned to control their vitality so to keep livable environment.

by das monde on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 02:47:39 AM EST
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Right on, De Anander and dasMonde.

This morning I woke up with an idea for a diary Against Efficiency. We'll see whether it happens.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:16:57 AM EST
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One argument that intrigued me a while ago against the "reform" of the French State to make it more effective and reactive was that the role of the State was also to introduce slowness, and ponderation into some decisions, and thus inefficiency was not necessarily a bad thing.

There is also a series of short novels by Frank Herbert where the hero comes from the Sabotage Bureau (or something) which was created to fight the super efficient bureaucracy made possible by a special kind a aliens, by sabotaging it and making it work slower. It sounds strange, but there is, as always with Herbert, some very interesting background and thought involved.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:49:58 PM EST
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