Re: Environment for memes (lost sending again)

From: Kate Distin (
Date: Fri 03 Feb 2006 - 19:41:42 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Environment for memes (lost sending again)"

    Keith Henson wrote:
    > At 10:53 PM 1/28/2006 -0500, I wrote:
    > > Intercommunicating human minds are the environment for memes.
    > On another list (Shock Level 4) a participant posted a pointer that lead
    > here:
    > This study--about how human minds work--has direct application to
    > memetics. I have made an EP based case in my paper on EP war and memes
    > that the ability to reason is suppressed in people operating in "war
    > mode," and the gain of xenophobic memes is turned up.
    > According to what these researchers found, it looks like the process is
    > much more general, or perhaps "politics is just a continuation of war by
    > other means." :-) I love the image of twirling the cognitive
    > kaleidoscope.
    > Keith Henson

    This stuff is fascinating. Its emphasis seems to be on the fact that partisans will find a way to maintain their affiliation in the teeth of negative evidence - which of course we all do, all the time, with people we love, and that's no bad thing (e.g. maintaining your affection even when its object is going through a growly or bitchy time for whatever reason). But it says a lot about the pointlessness of arguments between people of seriously entrenched views, in whatever field. Let's not get dragged into another debate about religion - people can become attached to philosophical theories with the same degree of passion as others do to religions or political parties - but whatever the subject it does seem that there's a degree of attachment to a viewpoint, beyond which it is impossible to hear what the other side is saying. I wonder what memes have to do to become so securely entrenched and get this level of mental/emotional protection?


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