Re: memetic engineering and superstition

Ton Maas (
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 07:47:14 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102801b13f9896e1d6@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 07:47:14 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: memetic engineering and superstition

>true ecology has more to do with technological applications than politics
>(which is a game based on guilt-laying). Politics at best functions to
>keep ecological research going and to encourage implementation.

Well, IMO this is as simplistic as they come. If "true ecology" is left to
the technocrats, disaster is impending, as they have _no_ fundamental
understanding of the deeper processes. I took a masters program in
environmental studies once and one of those specialists explained to us
students the nature of their approach. At the time (early eighties) they
had discovered that corn can be employed to clean soil that has been
polluted by immission from nearby highways (mainly lead), since this crop
is capable of absorbing lead and storing it in the cobs. Someone then asked
what was done with those cobs, since they were clearly not suitable for
consumption. The answer was as simple as it was baffling: the polluted corn
was mixed with unpolluted corn, until the average quantity of lead was well
below accepted levels. True ecology is both a scientific _and_ a
philosophical problem, since it reflects our complete physical and mental
household. I would say that both politicians _and_ scientists (especially
the technologically inclined) have been doing a _very_ poor job at it over
the last thirty years.

>Decision making based on innate appeal of memes is what we applied
>memeticists wish to dismantle. The key is education on the structure of
>consciousness. Education that is based on the relation between the
>memetic structures at play. The memetic structure of education adapts to
>the memetic structure of individuals's consciousnesses. This is a perfect
>example of memetic engineering. By actually understanding people and
>understanding institutions we improve them.

I'd say the key to education is to understand ourselves as _biological_
processes (both conscious and unconscious). If we fail to understand that
consciousness is _not_ the crown of creation but a rather small part of the
whole, we'll remain in the same deep shit that we're in now. Focusing
exclusively on consciousness has propagated addiction in every conceiveable
field - not only to alcohol but also to arms races, exploitive capitalism,
stifling communism and so on - to pathological lifestyles in general.


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