From: Grant Callaghan (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 02:39:19 GMT
>Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
>Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 20:58:53 +0000
> > >
> > >
> > > firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > http://www.meforum.org/article/175
> > > >
> > >
> > > Middle East Forum, ("Protecting America's Interests) - colleagues of
> > > our friends in Campus Watch.
> > >
> > Ad hominem. Check out the articles, and judge them on their merits. I
> > could have posted scathing critiques of Edward Said, but refrained.
> > >
>it's politics Joe, politics are all about ad hominen. the publication
>you refer to and its affiliates are preceded by their reputations. you
>might just as well have referred us to the Likud Party homepage.
> > The power of this meme depends on its exploitation of the collective
> > narcissism and paranoia of the Israeli people.
> > Ted
>the word narcissism has crossed by mind thinking about tendencies in
>Israeli politics and behaviour. Is is appropriate? where does the
>narcissism come from? can we understand it without understanding the
>role of religious zealots who are largely kept from western view?
>I'm interested in the ways in which cultures shut out (ignore)
>information. is there a meme-specific way of talking about this?
Memes carry information. Cultural memes do shut out other memes. Cult memes, for example, are designed to make members shut out all memes contrary to their doctrine. The Catholic church has set up things such as the catechism and religious schools to make sure the children of members get the right memes and avoid the wrong ones.
Even a political stance can shut down the potential for accepting a message
from an opposing political stance. Then, there are the games people play,
which hinge on the emotional content of certain stances to reinforce the
stance of the player. Alchoholic is one of the most popular games, as is
junkie and pot head. As a bartender, I've tried to tell alchoholics (I was
one myself once) their behavior was slowly killing them and destroying their
In the beginning junkies think there's nothing wrong with what they're doing
and no amount of arguement will convince them thay can't handle the problem.
Eventually, the dope convinces them, but by then it's too late. Pot heads around the world are still fighting for the freedom to get high and are equally convinced that there's nothing wrong with getting high.
It doesn't matter which side of the argument you come down on. The point is
that what they are doing prevents what most people consider memes of common
sense to prevail over the memes that support their position. The stance of
a creationist causes him/her to reject all arguments to the contrary no
matter what evidence is set before them by evolutionists. That is a case of
memes causing people to reject memes that don't fit into their world view.
People who accept that the only truth is what some religion says is the Word
of God will not be convinced by any argument to the contrary. The stance of
their religion requires that all information to the contrary be rejected
based on faith. If you believe, the truth will be based on what you
I found it interesting in my travels to find peoples of all religions to
believe in miraculous visions. You've heard of the Catholic ones where
people see visions of the Virgin Mary. But in Buddhist countries, all the
visions seem to be of Buddha or one of his followers and in Muslim
countries, all miraculous visions seem to have a shape of some Islamic
I've watched people possessed in Taiwan and cripples "cured" in the
Philippines. The shape of the miracle is always mirrored in the faith they
profess in their daily lives. To deny that the "miracle" was really a
miracle is always met with complete rejection of even the possibility. A
shadow on the wall in a small town outside Manila looked, if you tried hard
to see it, like the shape of the Madonna. To me it looked like a shadow
that could be almost anything. But to the faithful, it was the incarnation
of the Virgin Mary come down to Earth to save the multitudes. They knew
what they saw and what they called it was what it was. No argument would
convince them otherwise.
I can't think of any way to overcome the force of faith. And when bad men
become the voice of that faith, there is no way to save the faithful from
the folly of that man's leadership.
Unlimited Internet access for only $21.95/month. Try MSN!
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 2.1.5 : Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 02:43:08 GMT