Re: Mooning (yawn....)

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Wed Jun 20 2001 - 14:37:38 BST

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    Subject: Re: Mooning    (yawn....)
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    Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 15:37:38 +0200 (CEST)
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    > > Is this an example of a more general type of behavior?
    > > Once someone breaks a taboo (temporarily) as a provocative
    > > act of defiance. Its observers and bystanders, perhaps en masse,
    > > imitate the actor and as such break the taboo as well.
    > > A memetic avalanche effect by means of taboo-breaking?
    > Chris Taylor wrote,
    > Good call - it's like those frenzy scenes in films where a bag of
    > money
    > has been cast to the four winds, then someone starts grabbing (money
    > that isn't theirs) and soon everyone dives in. The opposite would be
    > where thirty people watch someone drown without moving, because
    > everyone
    > held the belief that someone else (presumably better suited than them)
    > would do something.
    > << The recent perspective to the points you mention as above state
    > that
    > those behaviors are due to our fundamental desire, if I may use that
    > word,
    > to belong to a group.
    > Recent research shows that the ' group attitude ' is a stronger
    > emotion
    > than being an or one individual.
    > >From my perspective it surely indicates that most people are not
    > " individuals " but only followers of " individuality habits ".

    That's the general idea expoited by memetics isn't it? People
    easily and non-skeptically tend to adopt (memetic) behavior
    from certain authority figures. That's how memes are enabled
    to spread easily. I bet memeplexes such as religion would have
    a pretty hard time getting successful if every potential convert
    had begun asking the right critical questions to religious
    authorities spreading the gospel. People tend to comply to the
    wishes of the majority or a powerful charismatic voice without
    further ado, it helps establish social group coherence I think.

    > And in addition, I don 't think a Dutch translation exist for the word
    > mooning.
    > We have one for a " streaker " ( a flitser we call such people), but
    > not
    > one that I can recall for mooning.
    > Perhaps Philip Jonkers can help us out.

    Sorry Kenneth, I've asked a couple of friends but none of them
    has knowledge of a genuine Dutch translation for `mooning'. Like so
    many words we, Dutch people, simply borrow such fashionable
    words from English without translation. Unless pronouncing
    a foreign word gives unsurmountable phonenetic problems we seem
    to be lacking motivation to come up with a truly Dutch
    translation and consequently refrain from doing so.
    Since we don't have any difficulty in pronouncing `mooning',
    the Dutch vocabulary will probably be supplemented
    with this untranslated word too then. Also we tend to be fond
    of English (words), we think they often sound `cool' or
    `relaxed' (these two words are adopted by us without translation

    Since all words once started out as memes, one can speak of
    foreign memetic infection I guess, especially when lend-words
    such as mooning come with a protocol, ritual or artefact.

    Cheers people,

    Philip Jonkers.

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