From: Grant Callaghan (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 28 Oct 2002 - 20:47:22 GMT
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Grant Callaghan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > And yet, we see people doing stupid, destructive things like this to
> > their anger all the time. It has even become a cliche used in movies
> > plays. Definitely one of the things that mark it as a meme.
> > When asked, "Why did you punch him in the nose?" you're likely to get as
> > answer, "He pissed me off!" as if it was the fault of the person who got
> > punched that the puncher lost his temper. What a person does with his
> > is a decision of the angry person, not the person he takes it out on.
> > irrationality is the kind of thing strong emotions cause in us.
>Set in memetic terms I can 't agree, not completely anyway !
>Don 't forget Grant that either you or the one who punches you in the nose
>got reasons, you to make him upset and he to give you a swing.
>In both cases memes and memeplexes are at work, and yes it was in
>that sense your own fault that you got him off his tracks.
>Your way of saying things, the words you pronounced, the whole of
>your bodily gesture made him pissed off because memes and plexes
>of his own were to be trigged by those, hooks_ either by the puncher
>or of the one who got punched did their lousy job....
>Memes Grant, have funny ways to let us know they exist !
We learn what to get angry about and what to do about our anger from others.
That makes it memetic. At the same time, we have choices. We seldom learn only one response. We have the ability to choose between various responses if we take the time to think first. John Kennedy used to say,
"Don't get mad. Get even." He nearly always followed this advice. I have learned to curb my own anger by considering the foolishness of most of the things that make me angry.
I think you might remember the Chinese curse "Wang ba dan!" or king turtle
egg! which is almost guaranteed to get you into a fight in Taiwan. I
brought it up as an example some time ago. But the point I was making then
and make now is that you have to learn from the society you belong to that
anger is the appropriate response to that phrase. When I hear it, it does
nothing to me. Once you realize that all words and gestures that spark
anger are learned responses, you can learn new ones. Thus, you have a
You also have a choice about what to do about your anger. Kennedy used his
as a tool to thwart his political enemies. He could just as easily have
punched one of them in the nose, but that would be counter productive.
Instead, when that person came to him for a political favor, he just
declined to give it.
Memes don't MAKE you do what you do about things like anger. They memely
place limits on your available responses. You won't do what you can't
imagine doing. You have a store of learned responses that cover almost
every situation you are likely to encounter. The more of them you learn the
more options you have to choose between. The brilliant man is one who is
able to come up with a good response for something he has never encountered
before. The stupid man is one who lashes out automatically without even
thinking of what might be the best response. The martial artist develops
and practices resonses to every situation he is likely to encounter. In
most cases this is a winning behavior.
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