virus: Subject: RE : AIDS Meme-Complex (formerly meme pairs)

Hakeeb A. Nandalal (
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 09:58:49 +0000

KMO wrote :-

> ..... it doesn't seem appropriate to
> say that 'the justice meme' is paving the way for 'the criminality meme'.
> To me, it seems more appropriate to say that the structure of the
> justice system has allowed a reiterative process to take shape and
> snowball to a state of increased criminality in society. In this case, I
> don't think the language of memetics adds anything to our understanding.
> .....
> .....
> Most of the things we call memes on this list are really meme-complexes.
> .....
> .....
> As useful as I think the memetic perspective is, it isn't universally
> applicable.

I beg to differ, if the cause/effect structure is plausible, then
identifying such meme-complexes may add to
someone's knowledge base. The more precisely the relationship is
described, the more it adds to our
understanding. For example I've always wondered exactly why (not how!)
people have children and I've never
come up with a satisfactory answer. If someone could give me plausible
reasons for this bizarre practice, I'd
really be grateful.

In the meantime I have another suggestion for Lior's AIDS meme (now
meme-complex) list :-

The "semper fi" or "always loyal" military meme could lead to the
destruction of the host because it requires
a certain naiveti. Here the host doesn't die for martyrdom but is
actually killed by a system which is
inherently crooked but necessary for its own and the its owner's
(society) survival.

The host is lured into the trap with the bait of glory, patriotism,
technology and promised remuneration for
further education with the assurance that the skills necessary for
college will be acquired in the military.
The TV ads always show dynamic scenes of "action" and "infiltration"
which appeal to the juvenile, usually
masculine, mind. I've noticed only the ads featuring men carry the
message about college, but I could be
mistaken. In fine print at the bottom of the screen, the college fund
message is followed by the disclaimer
"if you qualify" but I don't think this means "if you are accepted into
the military" but rather "you may be
accepted into the military but not qualify for the college fund". The
power of technology, according to Loren
Baritz, the author of "Backfire" (a Vietnam War analysis), bestows
potency to the weak males and forges a link
between machinery and sex. The ads feature men and women of both races
but reports of racial and sexual
discrimination in the military are frequent. "60 Minutes" did a story of
a black man who was officially
squeezed out of a military Pilots Program because he supposedly failed
the tests but afterwards he was
accepted into Harvard Law School; the "Tailhook" scandal brought to the
fore the plight of women in the

Soldiers are often exposed to lethal conditions like mustard gas in WW
I, nuclear radiation in the Manhattan
Project, agent orange in Vietnam and biological weapons in Iraq.
Sometimes the exposure was unintentional and
sometime not, but the military always took the opportunity to "study"
the victims not necessarily to cure them
to enhance its own assessment of the effect of such weapons on the
enemy. The need to strengthen the military
data base outweighs any other priority. Mistakes are sometimes made and
soldiers are killed by their own side,
an event described by the oxymoron : "friendly fire".

The most dreadful act of the military is the hardest for the "always
loyal" soldier to comprehend and accept :
damage control. When things go wrong the first rule-of-thumb is :
denial. Even when there is blatant
negligence the attitude of the military is "the military has done
nothing wrong". There is always the usual
promise of an inquiry, but an agency will not condemn its own actions if
it wants to survive.

Historically societies with a powerful military capability have tended
to survive and expand. For countries
like the US where military service in peacetime is voluntary, soldiers
have to be deceptively enticed to join.
Although their goal is supposedly to protect the "American Way", this is
the last sentiment they encounter
when things go wrong. The ideals the military are suppose to protect
cannot be applied to the military itself
if it is to survive. A current example of this alternate world is open
discrimination against gays. In no
other facet of American life can a person be fired from a job for being
gay except the military. Only recently
have women been allowed into traditionally all-male military schools.
The board of one such school actually
took a "vote" to decide if they should conform to the Supreme Court
ruling banning discrimination against
women. The irony is mind boggling.

The slogan for the military should be :-
"Don't ask. Don't tell. Don't expect fair treatment."

* *
* Hakeeb A. Nandalal *
* *
* *