If you're going to argue stories, at least get your facts right!

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Stephen Hutchison

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Nov 25, 1986, 2:13:57 AM11/25/86
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In article <17...@ncoast.UUCP> all...@ncoast.UUCP (Brandon Allbery) writes:
>Quoted from <1...@fortune.UUCP> stir...@fortune.UUCP (Patrick Stirling)...
>+---------------
>| >We also discover that
>| >the puppeteers have been breeding for "luck" in humans and seem to have
>| >succeeded-- an idea which clearly makes no sense at all, because "luck",
>| >if it were an inheritable trait, would be the ultimate in survival value;
>| >hence it would already exist.
>|
>| How do you know it doesn't exist? Maybe we're extremely lucky. We wouldn't
>| notice it, being used to our natural luck-level.
>+---------------
>
>The point is that the puppeteers wouldn't be able to improve on the result
>of natural selection for luck without direct genetic surgery or somesuch.
>The technique of the Birthright Lottery wouldn't have any effect; anything
>selected for by that would have been selected for long ago by the cavemen who
>managed to avoid the leopard...

Bullschwa. Ever breed animals to enhance a pre-existing trait? It works
in significantly less time than evolutionary processes do. You end up
with extremely inbred animals with exactly the traits you were selecting
for. The lottery was not the only method of breeding-coercion used.

Furthermore, since the idea of "luck" destroys linear causality, you have
to deal with the fact which Louis Wu used to drive the Hindmost (or was it
Nessus?) catatonic for a while: the puppeteers were only the tools of
the incredible LUCK of the n-th generation result of the breeding program.
They exist because it would be tremendously UNLUCKY for them not to exist.

Evolution is a probabilistic process. We're talking here about a trait
that feeds back on that probability.

Hutch

Laura Creighton

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Nov 25, 1986, 6:24:17 PM11/25/86
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>>The point is that the puppeteers wouldn't be able to improve on the result
>>of natural selection for luck without direct genetic surgery or somesuch.
>>The technique of the Birthright Lottery wouldn't have any effect; anything
>>selected for by that would have been selected for long ago by the cavemen who
>>managed to avoid the leopard...

So maybe it has been, and humans are already very, very lucky. The
Birthrite Lotteries just provide a convenient handle for recognising
exceptionallly lucky humans.
--
If you take a risk and fail it doesn't necessarily mean that
you made a mistake. -- David desJardins

Laura Creighton
ihnp4!hoptoad!laura utzoo!hoptoad!laura sun!hoptoad!laura
to...@lll-crg.arpa

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