Re: The necessity of mental memes

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sun Feb 17 2002 - 10:58:40 GMT

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    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
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    Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes
    Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 11:58:40 +0100
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Grant Callaghan <>
    > What I dislike in the choice of the word "contagion" to describe the
    > of information is the implication that the receiver has no choice but to
    > "infected" by the idea. It also has connotations of sickness and a
    > that leads to death. Most of the bacteria and a lot of the viruses that
    > invade our body do so harmlessly. Some are killers. But we have little
    > choice about catching the flu or HIV.

    Hi Grant,
    Long time no see !
    For a moment I thought you meant this, but I hope you expresses this not
    in a literal sense !?
    If so, I can 't agree !
    I see you point that once infected with the flu or HIV for that matter that
    there is no escape ( yet), but you do have a choise !
    Keeping yourself warm or don 't sit in the draft would dismishing your
    chances for getting the flu and the use of condoms would protect you
    from catching HIV.

    And for a good understanding, I agree that in the case of memes taking
    up by people can lead to sickness or to death, but how would you explain
    what is happening in Africa !?
    HIV is killing a lot of people, the use of condoms would lead to some
    higher survival- rate, the beliefs of the African peoples see in the condom
    a from of witchcraft and the catholic churches are playing with even higher
    stakes. I belief that memes can be that strong to hold on to what Africa
    beliefs in, but not to the standard that they are willing to wipe out a
    continent in order to propagate !?

    IMO, and I don 't say that is your point of view, the little choises we
    have about catching the flu or HIV are political inspired.
    How would a society be stronger if its population is too sick to do anything
    How can you explain such an adaption, in the sense of an ever changing
    world- wide environment if not, memes are willing to wipe out the whole
    of the African population for a better cause and that would be than the
    survival of other memes. Are our memes then stronger, better,... more
    adaptive, creative,...!?

    Saying in a sense, that you have no choise, is IMO not ethical correct,
    the African people DO have a choise, but it is maybe not theirs to make
    so to speak. It is maybe OUR choise in which ways we protect OUR community
    that lies a dark shadow over the African continent.
    And maybe there is deep inside of our ( Western) Self an individual
    core which indeed hinders ( the black) others if families and societies
    are blocking our ways to a further development.
    The terms virus and contaigon are in such a context well placed and are
    likely being used in the future. And their emotional baggage is essential
    in order in getting Africa ' alive ', again.



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