RE: virus: AIDS Meme

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Mon, 21 Oct 96 16:51:00 PDT


Can you back any of these claims about the dangers of
compassion and justice with actual data? The last I checked, the
US crime rate (both total crime and specifically violent crime) was
down, and the number of Americans in prison was at an all-time high
(in terms of either actual numbers or percentage of the total population).
Yes, the occasional famous person finds a sympathetic judge or jury,
but while that gets a lot of attention, it's a very small minority of cases.
Probably a smaller number than the number of police officers who walk
out, with their jobs, after killing an unarmed civilian for some infraction
like playing touch football. Neither is justice, neither contributes to a
stable society, and both are important mostly as memes rather than
for the number of people harmed directly. (Oh, one correlation with the
crime rate is the number of adolescent males in the population; shall
we pass a law against bearing male children?)
As for technicalities, a lot of those are helping the police. For
example, under current US law, the police have the right to stop and
search a car if it has a broken taillight. (No, I don't know what the
connection is between having a damaged vehicle and being likely
to have committed a crime.) They're also allowed to search it completely
at random, or if it fits almost any profile they can come up with. There's
a lot of talk about technicalities, but in the real world of law
the Fourth Amendment is about as relevant as Oliver Cromwell.
This is actually fertile ground for a study of memes and how
they spread: for some reason, whether the crime rate goes up or down,
the perception of danger keeps going up. Whether the conviction rate
goes up or down, people keep believing, and repeating, that ever more
criminals are getting away because of "technicalities." I don't know why
these memes are so powerful. My only guess would be that people get
a lot of their news from television, and a picture of a crime scene gets
into the brain at a different level than statistics about the crime rate:
all pictures of crime scenes, victims, or trials produce the message
"danger! violent criminals! danger!" even if they're accompanying a
story in which the FBI announces that it has caught a wanted criminal,
or that the murder rate is down.

From: owner-virus
To: virus
Subject: RE: virus: AIDS Meme
Date: Monday, October 21, 1996 4:31PM

To Lior :-

Two variations of Vicki's martyrdom meme are possibly the "justice" and
compassion" memes. The bait in the justice meme is the promise of punishment
wrongdoers while the hook may be the proliferation of lawyers who are well
compensated. The bait in the runaway compassion meme is the perception of a
society while the hook is the perception that the host is a better person.
the death blow of both these memes is the consequences of altering the
balance of
crime and punishment in the favour of the criminal/subversive elements.

The justice system ideally punishes wrongdoers while freeing innocents but
bizzaro type backlash to the Stalinist-type "trials" of the early part of
century, the system has been skewed drastically the other way in the favour
of the
criminal under the guise of extreme fairness. Now the terms "technicality"
and "plea
bargain" annihilate the very process so the less obscure phase of
by a jury is never reached. As memes go the justice meme now exists for its
purpose on a plane which seems asymptotic to the reality plane where people
live and die at the mercy of the criminal element. The co-meme to the skewed
meme is the rise of the "criminal" meme which is rapidly adapting to the
immuno-depressed "justice" hosts who are unable to see the danger in the
trend. The
success of the criminal meme over the justice meme in the long term may be
due to
the fact that justice meme is incapable of self-correction without violating
its own
principles which would be tantamount to breaking the law to deal with even
criminal activity cloaked with technicalities. This might explain the
people have with "Mission Impossible" type scenarios since the solution
involved going "above the law" or having a mythical "Licence to kill".

My definition of the "runaway compassion" meme is a meme which would result
in the
destruction of the host because it suppresses the memes necessary for
survival which
are of an aggressive and violent nature. Examples of this are anti-abortion
("pro-life"), anti-capital punishment, anti-coporal punishment,
unilateral disarmament. Total irradication of these aggressive memes would
result in
the rise of subversive activities from both within and external to the
society. A
well known medical fact is that the overuse of anti-biotics leads to the
of the body's own immune system which in-turn gives rise to various
infections other
than the original one the medication was intended to quell. Similarly, when
"compassion" gives way to "runaway compassion", vulnerability is created in
the host
society which is then inundated with overpopulation, crime or an enemy

So Lior, what do you think of my (emmy-emmy) nomination for a potential AIDS

* *
* Hakeeb A. Nandalal *
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* *