Re: virus: Manipulation Lesson 12
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 16:51:27 -0600 (CST)

On 23 Feb 1997, David Rosdeitcher wrote:

> This morning I posted a question about possible names for memes that are
> detrimental. I came back this evening to find 2 good suggestions ('parasitic
> meme' from Martz and 'low-profit meme' from Corey) but there was no indication
> by anyone that such a word existed to convey a detrimental meme. So, here is--
> Manipulation 101 Lesson 12--Preventing Others From Identifying Reaity
> An effective form of manipulation is confusing people by preventing them
> from making identifications about reality. If people don't have the words and
> concepts to understand how you are controlling them, they will not be so aware
> of how they are being manipulated, much less stop your manipulation.
> For instance, one country that has a really corrupt judicial system is
> France, where people are guilty until proven innocent. So, anyone who is
> arrested and cannot prove innocence, might be thrown in jail or executed. I read
> somewhere that the French language has no word for "fair play". This lack of
> identifying a code of ethics makes it possible for people to legally rip other
> people off in the name of "standard procedure".
> Here's another example: The Popes of the Catholic Church used this technique
> to gain credibility: Great artists like Michelangelo sculpt statues and paint
> murals for the Church. People would make connections between genuinely great
> artwork and a completely bogus religion and would then think that the Church was
> great and had credibility. People did not have the word *non-sequitur*
> (meaning--it does not follow logically) to help them understand that there
> really was no logical connection between, say, Michelangelo's work and a silly
> religion. (A memetic term I've seen that is similar to a non-sequitur is "Trojan
> horse".)

Interesting. For a fictional example, consider Orwell's "1984".

> In the field of memetics there is a language problem in which people have
> trouble identifying which memes are detrimental to people and which are
> beneficial. This is partly because the term "good meme" refers to memes which
> spread well among the human population. And, the term "bad meme" is for memes
> that don't spread too well. With these ideas of "good" and "bad" having
> different meanings, the slots that mean beneficial or detrimental are taken and
> it is unclear which memes are good or bad in the traditional sense of these
> words. This is like a situation in George Orwell's "1984" (I thought of this
> analogy before reading Tad's post) where the government controlled people by
> confusing them through changes in language.

Check out the Memetics Lexicon Web Pages. "Autotoxicity" and "exotoxicity"
are fairly decent first-order approximations to "bad" memes.

A Raving Religious Rightist who actually UNDERSTOOD his Book [rather than
totally confusing Culture and the Book] would probably define "sinful"
memes as autotoxic memes, at least to a second-order approximation. [He
or She would also have very sophisticated reasoning capability,
fathoming 3 or 4 levels of reasoning AT ONCE] [This is an immediate
derivation from Romans 6:20-23.]

> In religion-based memetics memes are rated in terms of "good" and "bad" and
> there really are no moral judgements, since language is considered by some
> religion-based memeticists to be just arbitrary "distinction-memes". This idea
> allows for rationalizing the spread of any kind of meme, whether or not it is
> beneficial for others. Some people can control other people by spreading "good
> memes" that are detrimental and the victims would not be able to identify what
> the problem is since they have no word for a detrimental meme.

Good thing you used "some", up there. Your description doesn't describe
MY opinions about language [something about 80% wrong?]

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd