From: Dace (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 04 Dec 2002 - 06:30:34 GMT
> From: "Scott Chase" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >From: "Dace" <email@example.com>
> >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
> >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.
> So, Joe rails against militant Islam. You're railing against Israeli
> Zionism. Are either of you better than the other? At the root of each
> approach is the assumption that one side is good and the other bad. Joe
> goes overboard in his posting about Islam, but it's no better to go
> overboard loading it up against the Zionists. The best approach would be
> cold, rational detachment from the topic and present the situation on both
> sides and the underlying ideologies and the nuances that make people on
> each side heterogenous.
What's memetically significant about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
that there's nothing to discuss. From a socio-political viewpoint, it's all
and dry. Israel has total power over Palestianian existence, while
Palestine has none (outside of terror) over Israeli existence. There can be
no question Israel
is oppressing Palestine, not the other way around. Israel is occupying
Palestinian land, demolishing Palestinian homes, depriving Palestinians of
water and economic opportunity while confining them to disconnected
territories. No amount of character assassinations of Edward Said can
change any of that. To take the Israeli side is no different than taking
the side of white South Africans during the apartheid era or American
slaveowners over their "property" or settlers against "Indians."
The question is not who's right or wrong but why so many people take the
side of the oppressor. It's an issue of memetics. Why do we subscribe to a
meme that characterizes Israel as victim and Palestine as aggressor? Why
would an obviously pathological meme take on such dominance over a logical
meme? To find an answer we must look no further than the resident sociopath
on our own memetics list.
Almost as soon as I began posting here, about a year and a half ago, Joe
Dees began attacking me. The cycle has since repeated dozens of times.
After a perfunctory attempt to argue against me, he spews forth a steady
stream of childish insults. At first I literally went through his entire
posts, inserting "ad hominem" after each paragraph in my responses. This
no effect. More recently I've learned to ignore his comments and try to
focus on the psychological basis of his attacks, which he regards as a
veiled effort to insult him. Why do I wish to insult him? Because he
While plenty of people on this list have offered thoughtful, constructive
criticism of Sheldrake, Joe is not among them. The most exhaustive
discussion came from Derek Gatherer, who wisely dropped the subject after it
became clear that he wasn't able to offer any kind of clear-cut refutation.
Like any sensible person, Gatherer declared his disagreement and let it go
at that. Intelligent people can agree to disagree. If anyone ever does
conclusively refute holistic biology, it'll certainly be news. No doubt
Skeptical Inquirer will feature the story on its cover. That Joe imagines
he's provided just such a refutation demonstrates his capacity for delusion.
It's not that Joe is lying so much as confabulating. Like a small child,
he reinvents reality according to how he wants it and then fully believes
his own invention. It's his capacity for confabulation that makes him so
convincing. When you take note of his obvious sincerity, you can't help but
feel he might be right after all. It's the fact that he's fallen under his
own magic spell that gives him the ability to cast his spell over others as
well. This is the basis of cult mentality, so prevalent in human society,
and explains how the cult of slavery would have gained its power, as well as
the cults of "manifest destiny" and apartheid and now Zionism. A few
egomaniacs fully believe in the righteousness of their cause, and the
delusion spreads to society in general.
Here's a segment from his latest offering:
"I have no difficulty discussing psychopathology, particularly Ted's
psychological projection of his own character traits upon me -
and anyone who's been around here for a while saw those very character
traits amply and abundantly exhibited in his rantig raving screeds about
Sheldrakeanism , which he appropriated and in which he invested his
emotional capital and his sense of self-worth, for lack of anything
original of his own to offer."
Joe figures I probably operate the same way he does, appropriating famous
thinker's ideas and regurgitating them. He thinks I'm on an ego trip, just
like him, that I'm doing all this ranting and raving to score points and
show the folks who's boss. But if I point out that he's projecting his own
traits onto me, he just turns it around and says I'm doing it to him. Isn't
it funny that he never called me a bully and a coward until I pointed out
that he's a
bully and a coward?
Though simple-minded, his mimicry is highly effective, giving people the
impression that both of us are just slinging mud at each other. So too,
when Israel presents itself as nothing more than a helpless victim,
Palestinian claims of victimhood seem less compelling. Since both sides are
saying the same thing, they probably both have equal legitimacy. The whole
issue gets totally blurred, and Israel can go right on throttling the
Palestinian people. Same thing with Joe on this list.
Since my last post, no one has chimed in to point out that, yes, I have
consistently demonstrated a commitment to rational exchange of
ideas, while Joe has consistently demonstrated his talent for abusive, ad
hominem-style tactics. But then no one (at least in the US mass media) ever
points out that Israel, in destroying Palestine, is responsible for its own
blowback. The best we can hope for is that someone comes along and
castigates both sides for participating in this endless dispute, as if each
side-- oppressor and victim-- is equally at fault.
> There's some who feel that these threads on Islamic and/or Zionist
> ideology have steered from the central topic of the list. IMO speculating
> on Joe's personality foibles goes much too far.
Personality disorders offer the key to understanding the origin and potency
of pathological memes. Joe is doing us a great favor by providing this case
> I think any posting in the future about any middle east related topics
> should focus on analysis of the issues (such as ideologies prevalent and
> how they have influenced behavior and history). Joe's posting of URL's,
> Lawry's pinpricks of Joe, Kenneth's diatribes etc. ain't getting close to
> anything substantive. As someone has mentioned these are hot-button topics
> and it may be extremely difficult to do a decent job at presenting the
> material at hand in a cultural evolutionary relevant way, without casting
> or looking through the lenses of ones own worldview.
I agree. It's much easier to examine the epidemiology of pathological memes
in regard to historical issues, where virtually everyone agrees as to who
was right and who was wrong. We all realize the 17th century English policy
of hanging the poor when they tried to steal bread was evil. We can easily
determine who was in thrall to a mental virus and what form it took, why it
was successful, etc. But even with current issues, it's possible to
demonstrate which side is parasitized with self-justifying beliefs, and
which side is clean.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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