Re: Absolutist memes

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Thu 11 Nov 2004 - 21:33:48 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Keo Ormsby" <>

    > 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.

    << True, but being a liberal is no guarantee that you ain 't got
    ' hate- memes ' ! You can hate the Islam but that ain 't no reason to condemn the whole of the Muslim- community ! You can be liberal, but tolerance for what can be said/ done in name of individualism and the free- market got, got to have for some_ well stiff bounderies.

    Belgium, where I live, is a democracy, the freedom of speech is one of its cornerstones, but a political party like VB_ a right winged movement with more than 1000000 adepts in the Flanders has now been convicted of being a racistic party. Where the party always fought for its democratic right to say or do whatever she pleases within the bounderies of our law and order system, now the Supreme Court have judged that its democratic right to speak freely has its own specific bounderies. So in a sense, racistic hate memes aren 't that absolutist after all, you may say whatever is racistic, but you may not in the same token set people against each other with the same words ! I think the niche where racial hate can and will pop up is far deeper and wider than, IMO you imagine.

    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').

    <<And what the meme- ecology is concerned, if you take the example as above that 1000000 folks vote for a right- winged party in a small region of the world like the Flanders, than IMO it is rather a matter of the ' genetic selected ' tendency to fear everything and everyone that and who is alien, strange, foreigner, not normal, excentric, not like us, the one who is not a member of our group,...than it is a question of a specific environment where such memes could reside. Eradiction would be a problem....

    Racial hate and hate memes in the first place are being part of our human condition and of our psyche. It is a natural, for- the- good- of the group selected tendency, it is part of our ancentrial toolbox to keep within the group, small community what is ours. Where berries can be found, where deer can be hunted, where cave can be found to shelter,...such info is better kept within the group. Our survival would depend on it.... And in a sense, in spite what most people think, that is the way that the peoples of today think and behave.

    Selfish genes, remerber !?



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