Re: Joe

From: Dace (
Date: Wed 04 Dec 2002 - 06:30:34 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1219"

    > From: "Scott Chase" <>
    > >From: "Dace" <>
    > >
    > >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.
    > 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 cut 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 had 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 refuted Sheldrake!

    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 study.

    > 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.


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