The Green Technology Meme and Intercompatibility

BO: Concern for climate change is puzzling considering people’s short-sightedness. Is it really a concern for humanity’s future, or just some twisted scheme to benefit industries, create jobs, and keep people busy working?

FH: I don’t know, but at some point, the hypocrisy of it has got to dawn on people. Everybody is gaga about green energy now.  In their view, paying extra money for clean technology is a good thing. So buying a hybrid or electric car, installing solar panels or wind turbines, etc are all good, even if expensive.

The way to conserve (the environment) in a capitalistic economy is to keep the velocity of money at a minimum. If I pay big bucks for something, I help stimulate the economy. First, the items I buy required resources to be gobbled up in proportion to the price of what I bought. Second, even if the product is environmentally friendly, the sellers who get my money are gonna spend the money again on other things, further encouraging needless consumption. If you really want to conserve you just need to stop buying and stop working.

BO: But isn’t it a grand thing to save the environment and create massive job growth through green technology at the same time?

FH: To me, this kind of thinking is a symptom of intercompatible memes having conquered the world.

BO: You think about intercompatibility of memes all the time, but have you ever explained it in any of your writings that are publicly accessible?

FH: Probably not. Intercompatibility is one of the key traits that enhance the survival and propagation of memes. Basically, a meme tries to make friends with all the other memes, it tries to be compatible with everything, so that it can achieve the largest possible market share. Bandwidth is extremely limited. Despite people’s predilection for multi-tasking, they can generally only listen to one idea at a time. At the same time, there’s little order and organization in the world of memes. So among scientists, you’ll have some who are religious, others who aren’t. In any specific subgroup, you keep getting people with diverse preferences and beliefs. As a result, people will have the most success attracting a favorable response from the audience by continuously marketing intercompatible memes. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian, a football player, or a habitual procrastinator. The intercompatible meme is compatible with everyone.

They’re so hugely successful, their short-term appeal trumps long-term competitiveness and strategic steps. I just listened to an interview with James Dines, who talked about his many books on investing. The gist of his message seems to be that if you are truthful, giving, don’t cheat and don’t steal, and such things, you achieve a higher state of being where you become happier, healthier, and even wealthier because you’re able to invest more skillfully. (Why pick him as an example? Well, among relative, friends, and neighbors, I know they are all gaga about some of the millions of authors like James Dines who use intercompatible memes to seduce their audience.)

Now, when you invest, as we all know, you basically get rich at the expense of someone else getting poor, without doing anything productive. It’s really just gambling. In fact, I think it’s really cheating, stealing, taking, and lying to yourself about it.

BO: I get the feeling that one could summarize that your view is that morality is hypocritical. And not just altruistic morality, but Ayn Rand’s version doesn’t fare any better.

FH: I think anything but a Machiavellian interpretation of reality is childish.

BO: Yet even Machiavelli doesn’t make the grade in your books, am I right?

FH: No, the criterion for making the grade is simple. Correct reasoning and relentless strategic stepping.



  1. Ed B Said:

    “Now, when you invest, as we all know, you basically get rich at the expense of someone else getting poor, without doing anything productive.”
    Isn’t a lot of investment monies put into companies that do produce things ?

    • FH: Money invested actually has a significant impact on production. The more fundamental argument (as first pointed out in is that 90% of economic activity today is useless.

      BO: Why don’t you correct your comments to acknowledge that there is some limited productivity in investment?

      FH: I could also correct my comments to point out that investments, far from being a mere exchange of wealth, are actually quite harmful. It mostly results in misallocation of capital and counterproductive economic activity. Technology stocks in the late 90’s and housing throughout the world in more recent years are the most glaring examples.

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