Re: Absolutist memes

From: Keo Ormsby (
Date: Tue 09 Nov 2004 - 16:18:49 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Van oost Kenneth" <>
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Keo Ormsby" <>
    > > In the case of absolutist memes, I believe that the
    > > "all or nothing" aspect of it is also a strategy
    > > should appear only under certain conditions. For
    > > instance, Nazi memes were forcefully imposed over
    > > political memes in the public arena, but I am sure
    > > in many (if not most) instances where parents and
    > > school personnel transmitted them to children, they
    > > used a more rationalistic and loving approach. It
    > > the right combination of these strategies that
    > > them evolutionary stable.
    > Keo, greetings,
    > I have to disagree here on the fact that the ' all or
    > aspect is something that goes along with certain
    > situations.
    > It is not so that if parents or schoolpersonnel
    transmit memes
    > that they ain 't absolutist ones and moreover that
    the way to
    > transpone them over was or were rational of loving.
    > I ain 't keen on the fact that absolutist memes, the
    ones we talk
    > about here, are in one way or another connected to
    war, like
    > Keith does or Nazi- propaganda or to how people in
    general are
    > getting them transponed.
    > In my view, even daning the tango is an absolutist
    meme in its
    > own respect, the driving- cars- meme is it also,
    being political
    > correct is yet another, and even transmitting Nazi-
    > memes in order to get the kids known what its all
    about, is an
    > absolutist meme ! Why can 't you transmit Nazi- memes
    > schoolkids in the same way the Nazi's did transmit
    theirs onto the
    > German people !? The way by which you try to get the
    > across is in itself an absolutist meme, that is my
    game !
    > Anything / everything can be an absolutist meme, it
    is just how and
    > why and in what a kind of perspective they are/ were
    > and in which situation they are set.
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth
    I agree that there is a tendency for all memes to be absolutist and to"all or nothing" behavior, I think the correction made by Keith Henson in a past post on this thread, that what we were really discussing were *hate* memes, puts things in perspective. Hate memes are absolutist, but all absolutist memes are not necesarily hate memes. The difference between the kinds of memes we have been talking about, and the Tango meme, is that racial hate memes tend to determine and depend on a whole lot of other memes in the meme ecology, they can exist only in a whole way of life and of thought (meme space). Absolutist Tango memes can easily reside within the memes of a liberal, a facist, a communist, a gardener, a nuclear scientist, etc. Racial hate memes have fewer niches, e.g. gardener and nuclear scientist, but not liberal. The other examples you gave fall between these extremes: if you choose to not follow driving directions, you will end up without a licence
    (or in jail), but it is possible to decide not to drive at all, without having to change your whole worldview and social contacts (depending on where you live, I'll grant); Not being politicaly correct is more close to the hate memes, in that only certain social groups tolerate being openly politically incorect, so that you would have to have a large proportion of your memes altered in order to accomodate that one. Perhaps what would be very interesting and eventually useful, would be to try to figure out what meme ecologies hate memes tend to populate, and more importantly how to erradicate them (if, as me, you have a moral aversion for those kinds of memes, and 'hate the hate memes'). Keo.

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