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From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <Kenneth.Van.Oost@village.uunet.be>
Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 3 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
- ----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Jonkers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I think an attitude of skepsis has an optimum in effectiveness regarding
> survivability. To some extent being skeptical obviously is useful as it
> allows for
> implementation of a selective filter for memes. The `don't believe
> everything you
> breathe' meme. On the other hand being extremely skeptical ultimately
> social exclusion as you don't believe anything or anybody. You will then
> fail to function in any social environment which requires group conformity
> and unison of thought and behavior.
Just buzzin ' in,
How can you be so sure that anybody will fail to function !?
The downright individual in any society is just the one who stands above
all others, the excentric, the artist....
You know by now that I have troubles with the so called ' group- required-
social- base ' statement where the motor of our thought and behavior are
concerned. Giving in to group conformity is excluding yourself and IMO
that is just the bias why Darwinian evolution works on the level of groups
and not that mush on the level of individuals.
And that is one hell of a mistake ! Generalizing is no good !
A. Appiah writes, " social repoduction [ that is leaning the traits, habits
rules] brings out collective goals ". But IMO that doesn 't mean that the
social reproduction is " collective " in nature like eveybody seems to
It is individualistic and the result is some culture and that is what we
but the underlieing bias is not Dawinian ' collective ' ( group related) !!
Group conformity is just another meme, not a fact !
I suspect that group conformity is one of those things that straddle the
meme-gene divide. I presume that like the other apes, we evolved in group
situations, and that a lot of our behaviours are a result of this. that said
however, we now no longer live in immediate family groupings, and tend to
have only tenuous familial links with many of the people we know. Hence are
behaviours are genetic but our choices of group are memetic. If you consider
the ultimate loner - the hermit or recluse, they are still regarded as very
much outside the norm and still generate a sense of wonder and fear.
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