To be honest, that statement was about 50% tongue-in-cheek, and I would have expected you to notice that.
Sorry I misinterpreted it. It's hard to convey tone by text, and that comment didn't read as remotely tongue-in-cheek.
1. I sure as hell could make better laws/tax codes/war plans then the buffoons who are doing it now. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to do so. Realistically, the problem is that when you put 500 people together (in Congress, for example) and tell them to make something, it comes out badly no matter how smart the people are, because there are too many of them.
Fair enough. And I suppose if when you accuse people of being stupid, you could be speaking of the stupidity of a mob, as opposed to the stupidity of individuals, which I believe intelligent folk who spend all their time on fora instead of going outside think is more prevalent than it is in reality. But it's not the individuals making bad decisions. It's an imprecise beaurocracy. People (individuals) are quite intelligent, even congressmen.
2. People who do programming sometimes do it because they enjoy it, and they tend to be good at it. Others do it because they can make money that way, and they tend not to be so good.
Poor coders tend not to get hired by major corporations. And few people are willing to spend most of their adult lives locked in a cubicle doing something that bores them completely so they can accumulate money. And someone who is capable of coding without any interest in it is probably pretty smart, since their attention spans are so challenged.
3. Wikipedia (yes, so reliable, I know) says there are 12 million square miles of arable land. That sounds like a lot, but it leaves 500 people per square mile (at 6 billion population), or 1 per 1.25 acres (roughly). Now, at the moment that's enough to feed the world. But the population will keep growing as long as there's food available (unless people decide to stop increasing the population, and work to keep it static), and eventually expand to the point where all arable land is being used. This is not a comfortable place to be. For one thing, it means that every bit of suitable land would be used for agriculture -- no room for all the nice animals that live in grassland ecosystems. Second, it means that people would starve to death in massive numbers at every fluctuation of the food supply.
You're talking a distant-future hypothetical, considering that currently the population of the Earth could be fit comfortably into Texas. If you think one person (not one household -- one individual) per 1.25 acres is cramped, you've never been to NYC, and people are quite cozy around here.
And considering most developed countries have shrinking birth rates, we're looking at a pretty meager growth rate compared to previous generations.
4. What you call the "eugenic argument" was (I hoped) obviously sarcasm.
Sorry about that. I was trying to understand what your argument was, and you appeared to be saying that 50% of those born will be below average, and that this is a Bad Thing because "we need more evolution."
Which, now that I come to think of it, doesn't present a eugenic argument. Even eugenic arguments are generally solvent. I don't even know what you were trying to say at all.
5. MAD doesn't work if you're a terrorist, because you'll be dead anyway when you set off the bomb, and the target doesn't really have anyone to react against. Alternatively, the target could react against the country you come from, thereby starting a nuclear war.
MAD doesn't work if you're the United States, when you're building up a missile defense system that you fervently believe will work so that you can nuke others without getting nuked back. (This is really what I meant by "stupidity" -- thinking that "it's okay, because we've got a missile defense system." Or building the missile defense system in the first place.)
MAD doesn't work if your nation feels like it's going to be destroyed if it doesn't act. (Israel, anyone?)
MAD doesn't work if you're Saddam Hussein v2.0 and you know you'll get hanged anyway. (You do actually have to HAVE the weapons, though.)
First, terrorists without a national-scale budget can't really afford nukes. Ones with a national-scale budget have nations to get it from. Those nations will be the ones getting into the war. By the same token, lone nuts can't afford nukes and we needn't worry about them.
Even the US isn't stupid enough to assume their missile defense system keeps them totally safe. The global reaction against bombing a country prominent enough to be in the nuke club would probably destroy the US politically at the very least. Additionally, current nuke defense systems either don't work or barely work, and can't be relied on completely. Plus, we've got plenty of allies to work as a proxy -- England or Canada, or even our commonwealths.
Finally, the guy who's about to die even if he doesn't set off the nukes would need to be totally willing to destroy the world himself. Then he'd have to be able to launch the missiles without anyone else's help, since not EVERYONE is about to die. And if you still have control of your nukes, chances are you're not a captive, and thus not about to be hanged -- this would apply more to leaders who just found out they have terminal lung cancer, and people will be watching out for their unstable little brains.
PS. Sorry I'm being to hostile. I hate people who hate people.