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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
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