Re: Joe

From: Jon Gilbert (
Date: Sun 01 Dec 2002 - 23:57:53 GMT

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    This is the last time I will post on this topic. I feel that it is important to apologize for my previous post in this personal matter, and I want to encourage everyone who intends to criticize list-members to do it in personal e-mail. I'm not the moderator, but just because one person does it, we should not let the list sink.

    >How long have you been on this list, Jon?

    Admittedly a short time.

    >As I wrote last week, Lawrence is
    >merely articulating what most of us who've been here awhile know perfectly
    >well. Nothing ad hominem to it-- which is Joe's specialty-- just
    >constructive criticism.

    I don't think there's anything wrong in criticizing someone's method of argumentation. Certainly it is a true gift to be able to argue well and be persuasive. Obviously, not many people are gifted at this.

    As the criticism of a particular list-member and their tactics may be, it doesn't belong on the list; send it to Joe, or whomever, personally. I didn't say that in my original message. But I have seen this many times in my long years on the net -- it is always better to strictly address the points someone is making, their arguments, rather than picking at their idiosyncrasies. In this way sometimes you are more likely to ward off their ill argumentation. But there is a certain level of dialectic honor that needs be present from those who would be the finger-pointers, and hopefully from anyone.

    > Lawry's only error is to hope that Joe can reform
    >in some way and become a responsible member of the list.

    I hate the term responsible. I've seen irresponsible posting, and this isn't it.

    >Not gonna happen.
    >Joe is the Darth Vader of the memetics list.

    Or he has been made into the Darth Vader.

    >The psychiatric term for his
    >condition is antisocial personality disorder.

    So now you are an MD? Where did you go to medical school?

    >Yes, there's a human being
    >somewhere in there, and sometimes individuals with this condition do take
    >off the helmet, so to speak, but it's very rare. Most sociopaths are stuck
    >for life at the emotional maturity of a 6-year old, and Joe does not appear
    >to be an exception. He's incapable of recognizing when he's wrong and often
    >believes he's scored some kind of great rhetorical victory when all he's
    >done is to repeat for the 50th time his unreflective views. It's a problem
    >of the ego. "I'm right because I'm me." The reason he can't recognize
    >Israel's slow-motion genocide against the Palestinian people is that he
    >*identifies* with Israel. It's the pathological ego that makes people
    >vulnerable to pathological memes, in this case the "Palestinians are evil
    >terrorists" meme.

    I acknowledge that you feel that way. I have not detected this bent from him however. Maybe it's just me, but he seems genuinely interested in changing the memetic structure of Islamic society in order to cause it not to generate extremism. I don't know if that is an ethical or practical goal, but it is a lot different from genocide.

    >As Lawrence wrote, Joe is an interesting case study. Indeed, he is highly
    >useful to a memetics list. All pathological memes are functions of
    >pathological egos, whether those egos exist at the level of the individual,
    >as with Joe, or at the collective level, as with the United States or
    >Many individuals diagnosable with a personality disorder exert a degree of
    >"charm." The dark side certainly has an allure. It's always dangerous to
    >expose a personality disorder, as people tend to side with the disturbed
    >individual against those who would "attack" him. Unfortunately, you've
    >demonstrated this tendency all too well.

    First of all, it is you who have the delusion that you are able to
    "diagnose" him with a "personality disorder". The societal belief we have that such diagnoses are even possible, or that we know what the
    'personality' *is*, and our collective definition of "disorder" are all debatable points that you are on very unfirm ground basing your argument upon. Also, one message does not provide you with enough evidence about me personally for you to accurately deduce any such tendencies of mine, although your intuition may be accurate nonetheless.

    See, it's not that I tend to "side with the disturbed", but that I have an open mind and I'm not going to automatically side against them. I have a neutral stance in all this, in any case. But I think that vilifying and demonizing people instead of taking the glass as half full and dealing with it on that level, is a practice that only reflects poorly on the practitioner, not on the subject.

    In any case, as I said, this is my last post on this topic, please send any replies to my private e-mail.


    Jon Gilbert

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