Re: Meme-set conflicts [was Re: some U.S. observations and notes]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Dec 16 2001 - 18:28:47 MST

On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Amara Graps reflected on "reasonable" ways
of converging meme-sets. I'll comment on a few comments:

> The notion of 'Converting a meme-set' is completely against my
> ethics and as coersive as I can imagine. If you think of an idea as
> a seed that germinates and grows, then either a person has the
> internal 'soil' where that seed will germinate, or he/she doesn't.
> [snip] If that person likes the idea then they'll return to you with questions.

Amara, on a fair and level playing field I would agree with you.
However I think the question becomes *how* to get it to that state.
Certainly Western ideas have dominated for the last century or so.
But the battles in terms of unequal education for women or denying
access to "open" information sources (be they in the Muslim or
former Communist world) are not serving the purposes of allowing
seeds to find their ground and grow.

Read this long article in the NY Times about the situation in Uzbekistan:

A *very* scary article (in terms of the extreme measures being
taken by the government) -- at the same time *equally* as scarey
with regard to the "brain-washing" being done at Wahhabi supported
Mosques or Madrassas.

Here is a "concrete" question -- can one have an "informed"
debate, or a field on which seeds can grow, *if* the agenda
of the opponent is to (a) prevent the education and promote
the subjugation of 50% of of the population?; and (b) prevent
the exposure to alternate information sources such as radio
or TV?

*That* is how I read the article. So you must claim that
the article is inaccurate; or seeds should be planted on
biased (infertile ground) [what a waste of time for a rational
indiviual]; or claim that "just" seeds *should* have to
triumph over inhospitable conditions. (Otherwise it would
make sense to eliminate irrational or biased environents
from seed dispersal.)

Mind you, I have no argument against the Sufi presentation of
ideas and concepts. It seems not *too* different from that
which I have experienced in various courses and seminars
that I took in the early 1980's (quite unrelated to Sufi-ism).
Going back to the "real" definitions of things, it seems to
serve as a useful "grounding" perspective.


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