[extropy-chat] Bully Magnets

Thomas Thomas at thomasoliver.net
Wed Dec 13 07:51:41 UTC 2006

Keith Henson wrote:

>At 05:24 AM 12/12/2006 -0800, Lee wrote:
>big snip
>>These animals---and that is the mildest term I
>>have for them---these animals who thrive on
>>crime and a repudiation of everything that is
>>good or noble in our civilization   all deserve
>>to be rounded up and executed.
>>And those like you who fail to recognize evil
>>are in my eyes little short of evil themselves.
>Lee is providing a good example of the evolved-in-the-stone-age mechanisms 
>that kept the population more or less in balance with the ability of the 
>ecosystem to feed them.
>When people perceive a bleak future--and at this point a fairly high 
>percentage of the populations in the world do--then dehumanizing memes such 
>as "these people are animals and should be rounded up and executed" become 
>more widespread in the population.  One of the classic examples of this I 
>quoted in one of my earliest meme papers, the correlation in the 70s and 
>80s between bad economic times and expansion of neo-nazi groups in the US.
>Now virtually all the reasons in the stone age that people perceive a bleak 
>future was because of other people--too many of them.  So evolved 
>mechanisms that turn up the gain on dehumanizing memes against various out 
>groups make sense (other tribes or just a different sub group like Jews or 
>Tutsis).  The end result of this process is a population reduction, war, 
>concentration camps, slaughter like Rwanda or Cambodia.
>If you think western peoples are different in this respect from Rwandans, 
>you are sadly forgetting your history.  When the chips are down, the 
>Western Tribes (and include Japan adopted into this culture block) are 
>bloody vicious.
>This isn't good or bad, no more than having 5 fingers or being subject to 
>capture bonding.  It just is, a legacy from our hunter gatherer past.
>Now what we might be able to do about it--that's another story and I could 
>really use help with some ideas here.
>Keith Henson
I knew memes were analogous to genes.  It sounds like you're saying they 
are linked. -- Thomas

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