Re: PC meme/s

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat 26 Feb 2005 - 17:33:03 GMT

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1525"

    At 09:11 PM 23/02/05 +0100, Kenneth Van Oost wrote:

    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: Steve Wallis <>
    >You wrote,
    > > Thoughts?
    >Patrick wrote,
    > > >> I have to be extremely careful in responding to these questions. Being
    > > >> politically incorrect is not safe in this world.
    > > > heck, publish and be did the PC memeset come about d'you
    > > > think?
    >but the PC meme/s itself undermines IMO one of Western society own
    >fundamentals, namely_ the freedom of speech ! PC or not, how far can you go !?
    >Is the next line out of order !?
    >Is insulting Muslims granted !? Where does it end !?

    >After the murder on T. Van Gogh ( Holland) the Minister of Integration
    >answers the question what her opinion is about the burning down of mosks
    >:- " Terrible,
    >but we shouldn't forget a murder has been committed ! "
    >And that should be worse or what !?
    >In other words:- " they " have done a far greater evil_ " they " murdered
    >one of us !

    The statement by the minister is simply recognition that what happened could be considered provoked rather than unprovoked. Humans recognize retaliation when attacked as different in some ways from unprovoked attacking. (Though because violence is dangerous, there is almost always a reason for violence. Even if it is a really stupid reason, the psychological motivation almost always makes sense in stone age terms.)

    >Should we now in the name of the PC- ness shut up !?
    >Does being PC mean a restriction of our civil rights !?

    Effectively, yes. But then civil rights are post stone age.

    >But what does the battle for our freedom of speech mean if you don 't
    >consider the moral background of it all !?
    >There is no right to get freedom of speech if you don 't treat others with
    >respect and his/ her ( human) dignity. Those are human values which
    >condition free

    >You can be PC to the bone, and you can see to it that people are too, but
    >what is the point if the half of the population consider itself racistic and
    >xenofobic !?

    I have bad news for you. Even in very good times some fraction of a population has xenophobia. As times get worse, xenophobic memes spread well, eventually you get violence from them.

    "Good times" are those where the resources are growing faster than the population. Bad times are when either due to population growth or from reasons such as exhausting resources or climate change per capita income is falling.

    People have claimed that the German extermination of their Jewish population was unique. That's true in the exact details of how it happened and the particular cultural memes that were active, but what happened is a general trait of human populations under stress. Rwanda provides an example. The Germans exterminated around a million people a year in the concentration camps. The Rwandans killed nearly a million in two weeks. There are other examples, Cambodia being among them.

    Jerad Diamond's "Collapse" has a long section on Rwanda.

    The Dutch are about as civilized a people as you could ask for.

    But so were the Germans in the 1920s.

    I wonder if the rise of PC memes is an attempt to keep nasty xenophobic memes repressed? As long as there is not "too much" stress on the population PC memes might keep xenophobic memes from circulating, at least through the media. Of course PC memes also prevent recognition and discussion of a building problem until there are riots. If that's the case, PC memes may contribute to most un-PC results.

    Keith Henson

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat 26 Feb 2005 - 17:52:35 GMT