Nurture Assumption: was- Memetic vulnerability

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 10:07:32 BST

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Re: Logic"

    Received: by id JAA23148 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 1 Aug 2001 09:29:07 +0100
    Message-ID: <000901c11a69$a1ade160$c706bed4@default>
    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    To: <>
    References: <> <001701c11214$d4462fe0$e5a2bed4@default>
    Subject: Nurture Assumption: was- Memetic vulnerability
    Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 11:07:32 +0200
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2314.1300
    X-MIMEOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2314.1300
    Precedence: bulk

    Hi all,
    Last week, Vincent wrote, I wrote,

    > > Interesintg point. I forget the author's name, but I think the book was
    > > called something like 'The Nuture Assumption' where the argument was
    > > children's behavioural/attitudinal characteristics are more heavily
    > > influenced by their peers than their parents, that would seem to support
    > > such a view.

    > << The author's name is Judith Harris.
    > Great book ! Seems to indicate that groupbehavior is far more important
    > than what parents think they teach their chilren.

    I would like to add the following line of thought,

    << If we take the notion of the Nurture Assumption for granted and take
    its conclusions to its own extreme far end can we say that the high rate of
    young deaths in traffic, kids between 18 and 25, is a consequence of than
    peer- behavior !? ( The same can be said about the overall great number
    of pregnancies among young girls, also the high rates of suicide among
    young people can be counted in here).

    If indeed youth their attitudinal and behavioral characteristics are heavily
    influenced by the peer- group is it not logical to assume that driving fast,
    irresponsible driving, traffic agression, drunkness and drugsabuse behind
    the wheel are consequences of such an influence and that than initiatives
    to reduce the number of young death in traffic ( licence with points,
    refrecher courses, defensive attitude behind the wheel) WON ' T work !?

    Policy- makers do take into account the younsters their lack of experience,
    their insufficient training and the youngsters their own special culture.
    If we take indeed the existence of a youngster- culture for granted than
    all the initiatives to reduce the number of deaths will overschoot their
    1_ they all are drawn up by us the " elderly ", and in that respect
    will not have any notion for it.
    2_ youngsters are getting urged by others to show typical behavior, so in
    a way the same initiatives will overschoot their mark.

    If this is true, than would the number of death only reduce if kids were
    growing up, if in a sense they were transformed into conformistic adults
    with a sense of responsibility !? Is it than Nature which suddenly takes
    over !? Why !?
    And if, the youngsters are indeed living in a specific culture, can we say
    different rules all together are applied there !?

    That is, are * we * allowed to decide what youngsters want, in what way
    they must drive a car !?
    Can we, from a parents point of view, take the accidents serious, very
    bad put I know,... are they not an " expression " of youth transgression !?

    Must we, in a sense, getting excited !? If we take the arguments of Harris
    for granted, not really. Killing, murder, suicide, accidents, ... are than
    fact such facts in youth- culture no more than eating and drinking.
    But as parents we have a responsibility towards our children, we assume
    we have and that can be just a cultural illusion, and on the other hand it
    seems of no concern in the mids of youth culture that kids die in traffic-
    accidents. Moreover, it seems of no concern to reduce the numbers
    from out their own mids. There is no " collective consultative organ "
    among youngsters to take action and reduce the numbers !!
    On the contrary, an organisation like RYD, Responsible Young Drivers,
    are laughed at as they were nerds, woofties,...

    Any comments on this !?



    ( I am, because we are) concerned !?

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Aug 01 2001 - 09:33:17 BST