RE: Why memeoids?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 21:38:46 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 16:38:46 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: RE: Why memeoids?
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    At 09:00 AM 21/01/02 -0500, "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    >Hi Keith
    >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

    Consider, this is somewhat like introducing genetic engineering on top of
    millenia of selective breeding. It took quite a few years for the field to
    do much that was not already being done by other means.

    Given PR, advertizing, and propaganda, laying a foundation of evolutionary
    psychology and memetics under these well established fields may take years
    to decades before this generates results that could not be done in other ways.

    >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

    "Brainwashing" is ok, but it means too many different things. I think one
    step might be to replace it with terms such as capture-bonding and "reward
    conditioning bonding" or other more specific terms.


    > > If you really wanted to be paranoid, maybe this *has* been modeled by
    > > secret government agencies.
    >I don't see any trace of this.

    I agree.

    Keith Henson

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