Re: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Douglas Brooker (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 16:25:48 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence"

    Received: by id QAA06071 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:26:41 GMT
    Message-ID: <>
    Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:25:48 +0000
    From: Douglas Brooker <>
    Organization: University of London
    X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.5 [en] (WinNT; I)
    X-Accept-Language: en
    Subject: Re: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    References: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Precedence: bulk

    An interesting aspect of the story is how 'hot' news items get dropped.

    One example is the anthrax story. (see below) Another is the 'short selling'
    of stocks scandal, that disappeared from the news. A valuable source of
    cultural information isn't new 'news', its 'news' that a few weeks or months
    older. How do memeticists account for the process of forgetting? It's a
    social or cultural consensus about what can be said, what's important?

    On the anthrax story - the bit below was in a UK paper only last week. I've
    been trying to find credible links on the short-selling story, but so far have
    only found 'conspiracy' sites which link the short selling with a bank run by
    the Executive Director of the CIA.

    I'm thinking about the social anthropology of collective forgetting.


    FBI accused of dragging its heels after former government worker is questioned
    twice over attacks

    Oliver Burkeman in New York
    Wednesday February 20, 2002
    The Guardian

    The FBI has a suspect for last year's anthrax attacks, but is "dragging its
    heels" because he is a former government scientist familiar with secret
    state-sponsored research, a leading American expert on biological warfare said


    Vincent Campbell wrote:

    > >>How many months now, and where is bin Laden?
    > <Well, now....
    > > This seems like a most tepid condemnation to me.
    > >
    > > As the savvy, retrogrouch lawyer said in the Star Trek episode where Kirk
    > > was being court-martialed, 'it's only easy to find a man who _wants_ to
    > > be found.'>
    > >
    > Ok, but I was merely pointing out that the initial goal was to
    > capture bin Laden and close down al-qaeda. Whilst he is at large, surely
    > al-qaeda is not closed down? Whatever the plaudits we might offer for
    > bringing down the Taliban, that was surely a side issue. If bin Laden had
    > been elsewhere in the world, the Taliban would still be in power. A bit
    > like Musharaff- a military dictator who took power via a coup- suddenly
    > becoming Blair and Bush's best buddy. Expediency rules in international
    > relations.

    > <The history of the world (nay, the record of nature itself) is a
    > litany
    > > of crimes and justices committed by people who have never come to their
    > > senses, whatever that means. As you say, decades in North Ireland, and no
    > > lessons seem to be learned.>
    > >
    > That depends how you view the peace process in N.Ireland. Many
    > still oppose it outright and commit violent acts, but many have put down
    > their arms. Coming to their sense means recognising human rights,
    > recognising self-determination, recognising negotiation is less damaging
    > than war. Call me a naive woolly liberal pacifist if you like...
    > <When I do 'flag-wave', it is to point to the lessons that created
    > the
    > > documents that created this country, the declarations and manifestoes of
    > > independence. If only the real flag had all those words somehow on it,
    > > I'd wave that too.... It's supposed to....>
    > >
    > Indeed, the British eventually had to acknowledge the intractable
    > situation in the colony- that you lot would never give up until you got
    > rights of self-determination, and that continuing to fight would cripple us
    > to the point that our rights to self-determination would probably be taken
    > away by a neighbour invading us. You lot also had the sense to write down
    > more or less exactly what it was you'd been fighting for, which despite its
    > limitations is far better than what we've got (or rather not got) in
    > Britain.
    > Flag-waving in any context other than sport (and even there much of
    > the time) is a risky activity, yet we all engage in it wittingly or
    > otherwise.
    > Vincent
    > --
    > The University of Stirling is a university established in Scotland by
    > charter at Stirling, FK9 4LA. Privileged/Confidential Information may
    > be contained in this message. If you are not the addressee indicated
    > in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such
    > person), you may not disclose, copy or deliver this message to anyone
    > and any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is
    > prohibited and may be unlawful. In such case, you should destroy this
    > message and kindly notify the sender by reply email. Please advise
    > immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email
    > for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions and other
    > information in this message that do not relate to the official
    > business of the University of Stirling shall be understood as neither
    > given nor endorsed by it.
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    > see:

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Feb 27 2002 - 16:36:51 GMT