Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 2 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 22:43:32 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 3 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)"

    Received: by id WAA07426 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 10 Feb 2002 22:47:13 GMT
    Message-Id: <>
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1
    Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 17:43:32 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 2 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    In-Reply-To: <002a01c1b282$79508fe0$5e2ffea9@oemcomputer>
    References: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
    Precedence: bulk

    At 01:29 PM 10/02/02 -0900, you wrote:
    > > Why do these "replicating information patterns" jump from mind to
    > > mind, sometimes setting off massive, and occasionally dangerous, social
    > > movements? Memes that are good at inducing those they infect to spread
    > > them, and ones that are easy to catch, simply become more common. Since
    > > this is circular reasoning, I need to restate the question. What, in the
    > > evolutionary prehistory of our race, has predisposed us to be a substrate
    > > to memes that can harm us?
    >Memes that have the highest persuasion potential for adoption will dominate
    >over the less persuasive ones. As long as they don't kill off the hosts too
    >much it is actually immaterial whether memes are good/useful or bad/harmful.

    My paper Sex, Drugs and Cults

    ---An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective On Why and How Cult Memes Get A
    Drug-Like Hold On People

    Which I am trying to finish up provides my thoughts on this subject
    developed over the last 14 years.

    Here is the lead in quotes:

    "Cult gatherings or human-potential trainings are an ideal environment to
    observe first-hand what is technically called the 'Stockholm Syndrome.'

    "This is a situation in which those who are intimidated, controlled, or
    made to suffer, begin to love, admire, and even sometimes sexually desire
    their controllers or captors." --Dick Sutphen

    "Drug addiction involves coopting the same neural circuitry than normally
    provides motivation for eating and sex. I am interested in drug abuse
    because, in addition to its importance as a social and medical problem, it
    has the potential to illuminate profound aspects of vital human
    behavior."--Robert Edwards, The Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of

    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 : Sun Feb 10 2002 - 22:57:41 GMT