Re: Words and Memes

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 23:01:53 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and Memes
    Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 15:01:53 -0800
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    > > >In my view, memetics is all about the struggle between reflective
    > > >human self-replicators and unreflective memetic self-replicators.
    > >
    > > I don't understand this conflict business.
    >The conflict arises because, inevitably, some of our memified notions will
    >be pathological. Ideas can't distinguish between right and wrong. Any
    >idea, no matter how ridiculous, can become self-replicating. Though quite
    >powerful, "L. Ron is God" doesn't contribute to the good of the social
    >It's a freelance meme, much like a carcinogenic cell. When an alternative
    >social body begins to form around a carcinogenic meme, the result is cult,
    >not culture.
    > > Humans are as adapted to load and run memes as
    > > computers are to load and run software. Software is useless without
    > > without hardware and vice versa. In our mental lives we are self
    > > self programming, start from a single cell organisms. And what we can
    > > load depends to high extent on what we have loaded earlier. As an
    > > example, you won't get anywhere with higher mathematics without a
    > > foundation clear down to arithmetic, and you need a foundation of
    > > physical concepts you learn as a small child such as counting and
    > > quantity even before you get to arithmetic.
    >We need memes in order to progress beyond the simplest level of culture.
    >But they'll turn around and bite us if we're not careful.
    > >
    > > Keith
    > >
    Over the long and bloody history of tribes competing for land and resources,
    the memes of war have saved our ancestors as often as the memes of peace.
    The Indo-Europeans worshiped gods of war as did the Greeks and Romans.
    Until the idea of one god came along, every civilization I've read about had
    a form of worship built around asking some god for success in battle. The
    Chinese used to write their requests on the backs of turtle shells and the
    shoulder blades of sheep.

    The martial arts we practice today were handed down from the peaceful
    buddhists. No civilization has been without its dark and bloody side and
    the religious ferver that goes with it. It's hard to offer one's body up in
    battle without a belief system to justify the act. It's a way of overcoming
    fear. Fear itself is a soldier's greatest enemy. It gets in the way of
    what he has to do.


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