Re: poly: polymath digest for 21 Dec 97

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Mon Dec 22 1997 - 18:06:20 PST

d.brin writes:
> I find this highly credible. For a much less analytical expression of the
> same opinion, by a world-class expert at playing the capitalist game, see
> the article by George Soros in the recent Atlantic.

BTW, I hate to play ad hominem games, but Soros is a very cynical
individual when it comes to some of his public comments on
markets. He's usually a very staunch free marketeer, but every once in
a while he shifts. Strangely, these shifts tend to correspond to times
when Quantum has huge dangerous positions that the shifts tend to
favor. Soros screwed up royally selling vast numbers of puts on the
U.S. markets just before the asian markets crashed and escaped only by
the skin of his teeth (his friend Victor Neiderhoffer followed Soros
in on the plunge and lost every penny he and his investors had.) I
recall that he came out for intervention in Mexico at a time when he
had what he refered to as a "trivial" stake there -- but what few
others would have thought of as such. I mention this about Soros only
because you mention him as an authority.

Also BTW, I used to worry considerably about the "Asian Problem" --
why was it that asian countries seemed to do okay even with major
government intervention in their markets. I wondered why they hadn't
had any reconing and sometimes wondered what I was missing. I should
have had more "faith" in the markets.

> For a discussion of many types of malign/benign and plain weird
> replicators, see my story 'Lungfish' in the collection RIVER OF TIME. It
> secribes just such an ever-evolving war among replicating probes as Greg
> Burch alludes to.

A story that has motivated some of my comments in this discussion,
although I suspect that the state you describe (replicators hiding
from each other) is unlikely simply because it makes exploiting
resources so hard. It is difficult to be invisible *and* carry out
your mission. In the only evolved ecology we've seen (earth) the
organisms tend to be visible, if sometimes mutually hostile.

Received on Tue Dec 23 01:58:28 1997

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:29 PST