Culling

I do like this answer on quora to the question:
Why shouldn’t the smarter, more powerful and more productive portion of humanity cull the rest?

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the planet Golgafrincham did exactly that. They convinced the “useless third” of their world (who they classified as telephone sanitizers, personnel officers, management consultants, insurance salesmen, etc.) that the planet was about to suffer a huge calamity. They then packed all of them onto a ship that was set to crash land into some distant planet. The rest of the planet promised to follow in short succession, which of course they never did.

This worked out great for them until one day they were all killed off by a virulent disease that spread via unsanitized phones.

Moral of the story: it’s impossible to know in advance what kind of people will be useful in the future.

Imagine if some guy during the hunter-gatherer age of human evolution had the same bright idea: let’s get rid of these intellectuals: they don’t hunt; they don’t gather; they just spend all day sitting around and drawing pictures with sticks. Genetic diversity is important, because there’s no certainty what the conditions will be like in the future.


At the same time I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if the phone sanitizers ceased to exist. How much more efficient things would be, or if all systems would just stop because a lot of smart people are also incredibly lazy :P

Ah now I feel like reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide again.

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