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At 04:27 AM 20/01/02 -0500, "Francesca S. Alcorn" <email@example.com>
>>As an example of mixing elements, I have been stirring evolutionary
>>psychology into memetics to answer the question of why some memes--lethal
>>to genes or individuals--are contagious.
>Have you read "The Botany of Desire?" The author says that certain plants
>have evolved to exploit human preferences, and use humans to enhance their
>reproduction - that it doesn't make sense for a plant like marijuana to
>devote it's resources to making chemicals which mimic human
>neurotransmitters unless there is a payoff for the plant. He also talks
>about animal intoxication.
It certainly seems to be the case that plants evolved in ways to exploit
animals to spread their seeds and that a lot of them evolved toxic
chemicals to keep from being eaten--mostly by insects. I suspect it is
more likely that some of the toxins happen to have had rewarding effects on
>The director who made "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (sorry, can't remember his
Jamie Uys (pronounced, I think, ace)
> also made a movie about animal behavior, and showed footage of several
> African animals drunk on the fermented fruit of the morula tree. He said
> that animals returned to the trees the same time every year to eat the fruit.
>I have been trying to catch up on some of the backlogged posts, and came
>across your thread about spoiled pathways. :)
>My guess is that it has to do with powerlessness. Many of these effects
>are also present when the trauma is experienced by an adult as well,
>although they may not be as profound.
>At the end of this article they refer to "focused therapeutic experiences"
>which I have also heard called "corrective emotional experiences" to heal
>the brain. I think people are seeking out corrective emotional
>experiences when they join cults or gangs - trying to regain for
>themselves a sense of power through affiliation/self-image
>enhancement. The meme propagates by exploiting this drive for
>self-healing - in much the way that therapy and self-help books also
People argue that taking street drugs is self medication as well. What you
say is another way to look at it, but the damage to a person's life done by
cults is often as extensive as that done by a heavy drug habit.
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