All the acquisitions or losses wrought by nature on individuals, through the influence of the environment in which their race has long been placed, and hence through the influence of the predominant use or permanent disuse of any organ; all these are preserved by reproduction to the new individuals which arise, provided that the acquired modifications are common to both sexes, or at least to the individuals which produce the young.
Hackman's paradox: Groups have natural advantages: they have more resources than individuals; greater diversity of resources; more flexibility in deploying the resources; many opportunities for collective learning; and, the potential for synergy. Yet studies show that their actual performance often is subpar relative to "nominal" groups (i.e. individuals given the same task but their results are pooled.) The two most common reasons: groups are assigned work that is better done by individuals or are structured in ways that cap their full potential.
One's worth and self-regard ought to come from individual competitive performance, not from group identity. Pride based on clan or tribal connections is atavistic. It appeals to people who fear they cannot succeed as individuals, and by diverting their energies it all but ensures they will not succeed as individuals.
We in US need active intelligence: people being on the streets, people being able to stop and ask questions of individuals that they suspect to put it together. Why wouldn't we be wanting to get some information that could actually prevent a terrorist attack, especially since we have so many individuals fighting that have passports coming back and spreading jihad.
The promise of the Internet-as-Alexandria is more than the rolling plenitude of information. It's the ability of individuals to choreograph that information in idiosyncratic ways, the hope that individuals might feel invited by the gravitational pull of a broad and open commons to 'rip, mix, and burn' - to curate.
Every politician, clergyman, educator, or physician, in short, anyone dealing with human individuals, is bound to make grave mistakes if he ignores these two great truths of population zoology: (1) no two individuals are alike, and (2) both environment and genetic endowment make a contribution to nearly every trait.
Who then would not like to see these benefits flow upon the world from the law, as from an inexhaustible source?... But is it possible?... Whence does the State draw those resources that it is urged to dispense by way of benefits to individuals? Is it not from the individuals themselves? How, then, can these resources be increased by passing through the hands of a parasitic and voracious intermediary?
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