Re: Durkheim redux / To Scott

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sun 15 May 2005 - 19:38:04 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: Scott Chase <> You wrote,
    > I agree that individualism could be an antidote to
    > some of the uglier sides of collectivism. And we act
    > in many cases as individuals distinct from others, but
    > at some point when do we plug into the Borg cube and
    > assimilate into the collective mass? I wish I was more
    > familiar with the sociologists' collective behavior
    > theories at the present time. What happens in a big
    > group of people to the sense of individuality?

    << It would take us too far and up every byway to explain it in detail, but I would say this,

    Everybody can name many things which belong to one's own world, everything else is alien and strange. But if we take enough time and are willing to indulge ourselves in the things which are alien and strange to us, we would see that many aren 't that ET afterall and are in many ways not so unpleasant as they seem. A group can become part of yourself, it is part of your identity, of who you are. That goes in one straight line with ' being US and THEM '. But there possibilies to really say ' NO', the group is part of who I am, but I keep my distance anyway. That is, in many cases what happens on this list. We are all part of a memetic group but how many people would met and know the others in the real sense of the word !? I personaly never met one of you guys... Do I know Scott Chase !? Not really ! But did we loose any tiny bit of our sense of individuality !? I doubt it because all the talking is really done anonymous, we never met face to face.

    It would on the other hand be something different if we set each Sunday evening around a round table and discuss memetics. Than (f)actors of a different kind would play their part. There are in many ways advantages but there are an equal part disadvantages. I always must and have to ' deliver ' something of myself into the group, I can 't go my own way, I have to take notice of one other. I have to compare the pro's and cons. What purpose does has the group for me, what is of importance!? How much can and will I take!? Is there a lost of individuality or plays my concience tricks with me if I don 't reply any of your posts, or too late in this case !?

    If I stand positive than I stay in the group, if I stand negative and corrected, than it is maybe time to leave. And if the latter isn 't possible, what can happen in sekts, than it means I got to drop out internally. Than a lost of sense of individuality would pop up. Anyway, we all drag our personal histories, trauma's and other bits of information into the group, we can be hardheaded, we can be born leaders and daft for that matter, so yes in this case we should loose a bit of our individuality if we talk openly of what memetical interest us. On the other hand, we can gain a lot of it, we can build personality and character within the group. But it is in anyway a sense of having a strong indivual commitment, character, identity and personality to overcome all the drudging to find out what memetic is all about and in the same proces not loosing oneself and doubting your sense of individuality.

    > And even as individuals we still share instititions
    > and ideologies, stuff that one might be able to look
    > at as collective representations. Maybe we act more
    > autonomously from society than the overridding
    > philosophy of sociology would give us credit for, but
    > there are cases when we might forget who we are and go
    > along with the flow (like the infamous wave at a
    > sporting event or waving the "Terrible Towel" at a
    > Steelers game or booing the umpire).

    << Yes, I agree, The marker both disciplines look at are in my most HPOV the wrong one. My sense of individuality is still intact and maybe in one sense that is allright, but in one other it is maybe the reason why noone believes me.... Not that I moan and weep, but selfrespect and dignity are part of my individuality.



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