Re: A paper on thought contagions in mass conflict

Date: Sun 09 Feb 2003 - 21:18:00 GMT

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    This paper is now also published by the Swedish Defence Research Agency in their report number FOI-R-0745-SE, ISSN 1650-1942. The Swedish Defence Research Agency publication also includes my shorter article "Thought Contation in the AIDS Epidemic." On the web, the latter has a separate page at

    --Aaron Lynch

    In a message dated 11/25/2002 1:00:01 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

    > Subj: A paper on thought contagions in mass conflict
    > Date: 11/25/2002 1:00:01 PM Central Standard Time
    > From:
    > Sender:
    > Reply-to:
    > To:
    > On September 6 of 2002, I presented a paper at the Swedish Defence
    > Research
    > Agency in Stockholm. The paper, titled Thought Contagion in the Dynamics
    > Mass Conflict, is online at
    > Abstract:
    > The evolutionary contagion of self-spreading ideas, or thought contagions,
    > is
    > introduced and applied to major topics in conflict dynamics. Beliefs are
    > found to self-propagate by some surprising means, such as inducing
    > evangelism, by manipulating imitation rates, by intimidating adherents of
    > alternative ideas into silence, by refutation resistance, and by deterring
    > dropouts. Even fairly subtle differences in the transmissivity,
    > and longevity of ideas may compound into large and intense ideological
    > movements. Examples are found in religious warfare, Nazism, terrorism, US
    > unilateralism, and the ideologies behind the September 11, 2001 event. The
    > effect of thought contagions on the proliferation and possible use of
    > nuclear
    > weapons is also discussed. The paper concludes that thought contagion
    > analysis offers important new insights into the dynamics of mass conflict,
    > as
    > well as potential strategies in reducing mass conflict.
    > Section Headings:
    > Introduction
    > Imitation, Intimidation, and Inculcation
    > The Nazi Thought Contagion
    > Religious Extremism
    > The Arab Israeli Conflict
    > The 11th September Event
    > Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
    > Notes
    > References
    > Acknowledgement
    > From _Thought Contagion News_ of October 14, 2002:
    > "Replicating Fundamentalist Christian beliefs in the End Times affect
    > United States policy toward the United Nations and Israel. Contagious
    > of afterlife glory for Islamic martyrs contribute to horrific attacks
    > around the world. Multiplying concepts of a divinely promised land in
    > contribute to violence against Arabs. Epidemics of anti-Semitic ideas
    > vast atrocities. An evolutionary arms race of female sexual repression
    > to severe genital mutilation and male desperation. An evolutionary arms
    > in weapons of war begets nuclear proliferation. The evolutionary contagion
    > of
    > ideas affects world security in profound ways. With interest raised by
    > previous analyses of Nazism and other violent movements, the Swedish
    > Research Agency invited me to conduct a seminar on thought contagion
    > analysis
    > at their headquarters in Stockholm on September 5 and 6 of 2002. The
    > event included a lecture and paper titled Thought Contagion in the
    > of Mass Conflict, which is now online at
    > --Aaron Lynch

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