Re: Astrology

Aaron Lynch (aaron@mcs.net)
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 13:54:24 -0500

Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19990430135424.00a561e0@popmail.mcs.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 13:54:24 -0500
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
From: Aaron Lynch <aaron@mcs.net>
Subject: Re: Astrology
In-Reply-To: <ce482e5f.245b2fed@aol.com>

At 12:10 PM 4/30/99 EDT, MemeLab@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 4/30/99 4:36:00 AM Central Daylight Time,
>ddiamond@ozemail.com.au writes:
>
>Quoting Aaron in regards to astrology:
>
>>>Resembling
> a paperless chain letter in some ways, the thought contagion also behaves in
> humans much as a computer virus behaves in computers. Though it does not
> erase its hostsí memory, it can make it harder to find a partner deemed
> "compatible" by arbitrarily narrowing the field. So like a sexually
> transmitted microorganism, astrology ideas parasitize human mating for their
> own reproduction.<<
>
>I would agree that astrology parasitizes human mating behavior - but I would
>not agree that it strictly narrows the field. I think that it both excludes
>partners that would otherwise be thought "compatible" and includes partners
>that might otherwise initially be thought incompatible. These tendencies
are
>reciprocated when the compatible/incompatible partners share a belief in
>astrology.
>
>I think it also encourages the parasitized individuals to not think
>rationally about their relationships once formed (or at least 'excuses' them
>from some rational thought in that category). Since the dynamics of the
>relationships have been preordained in the heavens, somewhat or even
>completely pre-empting any otherwise rational attempts to deal with it.
This
>undoubtedly provides more opportunities for sexual drives to over-ride
>attempts - or even eliminate attempts - to subject them to rational
control.
>I mean after all, your signs are "compatible". Who are we to second guess
>the heavens?
>
>-Jake

Good points, Jake.

Whether increases to procreation by the mechanisms you propose overcome the
losses I propose due to delayed/impeded mating is a question for empirical
study. Still, the horizontal transmission of astrological mating ideas
makes a good "brief example" on my web site for people who have never heard
of memes or thought contagions before. Most of us in America, after all,
witnessed people broaching astrological topics for mating purposes.

--Aaron Lynch

http://www.mcs.net/~aaron/thoughtcontagion.html

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