Re[4]: Memetic Parasitism

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sun 24 Jul 2005 - 16:52:52 GMT

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re[3]: Memetic Parasitism"

    Sunday, July 24, 2005, 11:23:59 AM, Kenneth wrote:

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Robin Faichney <>
    > Chris wrote,
    >> > Grow up non-white in Leeds (or one of many oter places), feel
    >> > put upon, have internal memes (or whatever) that exclude lots,
    >> > but favour others. There's nothing 'bad' about the weeds that
    >> > grow where there is not climax forest; they are just as valid.
    >> > There is nothing 'wrong' with wanting to kill maim and destroy;
    >> > this is not a malfunction, it is just another set of behaviours.
    >> > I abhor this murderous idiocy (before anyone jumps down my
    >> > throat) but it is not tricky to explain. At least that's how it
    >> > feels to me.
    > Robin wrote,
    >> You call that an explanation? This is the kind of thing that gets
    >> memetics a bad name.

    > Hi Robin,

    > Yes I am still round the block....

    Hi Kenneth

    > I don 't think Chris got it wrong, like him I abhor these insane ideas
    > and behaviors but nonetheless they can be explained with memetical
    > terms.

    I don't agree.

    > Memetics should be from my POV do just more to explain
    > in its own right why people behave like this. We have the expertise
    > to do so !


    > Why shouldn 't we !? Nothing else seem to cling !?

    You shouldn't assume, just because it's not common, that such knowledge does not exist.

    > If we harbor the memetic main idea that minds can and will be effected
    > by harmless/ sick- making/ killing ideas why shouldn 't we try to explain
    > why kids blow up train and busses !?
    > If we take memetics like it is, we can easily ' explain ' to others why kids
    > do this stuff, we can try to convince them to look at the problem in a
    > memetic way. We can try to convince them that religious inspired ideas
    > infect their minds, that others manipulate their ' weak ' brains and put in
    > ideas that make no sense to us .

    "They're victims of a mind-virus" says no more than "they've been converted to a destructive ideology". In fact, it says less. Memetics is a way of looking at culture in general -- and it's one that I find quite fascinating -- but it has nothing to offer regarding specific cultural phenomena. For that we have to rely on psychology, sociology, etc.

    > But it isn 't so that something, like freedom, makes sense to us; is '
    > absolute ',
    > is of significance that the same thing rings a bell for others.
    > Freedom of speech and democracy are things WITH meaning to us, for
    > others it can be something OF importance...the difference is there why I sit
    > still and others blow themselves skyhigh.

    And you didn't mention memes once.

    > And in such a context that is what Chris means I think, we can have an
    > understanding why these things happen, but that doesn 't mean that we' re
    > all for it. We can have an insight and really see something in it...these
    > are two
    > different notions.

    I don't agree that the concept of mental/behavioural infection constitutes an insight into any particular belief or behaviour. To see it that way is to confuse the general with the particular. To understand the basics of memetics is certainly to gain a new view of culture, but... well, I won't go on repeating myself.

    Best regards,
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