Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id OAA13184 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 21 Jan 2002 14:26:57 GMT From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Why memeoids? Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 09:00:14 -0500 Message-ID: <NEBBKOADILIOKGDJLPMAAEPBCJAA.email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 (Normal) X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2910.0) In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-MIMEOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600 Importance: Normal Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm catching up on emails...
> >Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
> >I must confess that I am grateful that the US government -- or ANY
> >government for that matter -- knows much about memetics.
> Keith: They don't of course. Not for a lack of trying on my part I should
My concern is that memetics can give rise to such a powerful technology that
those with the resources and access to the media (e.g. well-attended press
conferences) will be able to overwhelm the societal processes of
belief-formation. I think that in contacts with government agencies it is
better to speak in conventional terms of 'brainwashing.' Not that the US
government hasn't dabbled in this, alas. A search for 'Sid Gottlieb' and
Washington Post Magazine back in December 2001 on the web will explain this
> >I believe we can build the requisite models, and do believe that there is
> >much we can do -- even now -- to improve significantly US relations with
> >other peoples.
Wish me luck!
STUFF ON COMMUNISM SNIPPED
> >It may be that we now need an equivalent of citizen diplomacy, in which
> >Americans and others of good will, reach out to those who have become
> >convinced by our government's actions that they are targeted by it.
> One thing that is true but hard to convince is that *nobody* is in charge
> of the spread of western culture. What are your citizens going to be
> doing? Saying to people that 1) were nice guys, and 2) would the
> like to try this Game Boy? (A Japanese product.)
I agree, I see much less of the centralized control in these matters that
some believe exist. My view tends more to everyone is doing the best they
can (no matter how silly or dysfunctional, or 'evil' it may seem to me), and
that these myriad actions and views intermix in semi-chaotic patterns. Out
of this mix emerge those views expounded by a relatively small number of
people who have made it into true decision-making positions....
SNIP ON GLOBAL CORPORATIONS
> >And a model that explained the 'why's of anti-American sentiment
> >might be an important tool in helping our government policy-makers
> >understand some of the impacts of what they consider.
> I suspect really understanding the problem will just leave them feeling
These policy-makers are for the most part bright and well-meaning. (Not that
they always have the necessary background to understand the matters they are
having to deal with -- the short-term political appointees who head
policy-making agaencies are particularly bad in this respect.) So when
analysis and recopmmendations are put before them that make sense to them,
it is not unusual that they do find it helpful and use the input in their
> If you really wanted to be paranoid, maybe this *has* been modeled by
> secret government agencies.
I don't see any trace of this.
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