Re: MEME: History, Nazis, and >H

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 06 Dec 1999 03:24:27 -0600

Robert Owen wrote:
> I'm afraid you will find it
> incomprehensible when I tell you that I feel personal shame and guilt over
> these hideous events.

Incomprehensible? No, not at all. I find it entirely comprehensible within the human social memes. "I am German", "Germany did evil", "I am evil". That was my point, that you need to look at yourself and say, "I am human", not "I am German". (I, for one, find it a bit offputting to hear the phrase "six million" rather than "eleven million".) Unless you're a lot older than I'd guess, you bear precisely no more and precisely no less guilt for the Holocaust than I do. I think the segment of German society that is tired of national shame is on to something. I admire modern Germany for its consistent stand against anything that smacks of its dark days, from their support of Israel to their being in the forefront of the war on Serbia (that I personally despised the war does not change this). If Germany wants to play anti-Nazi policeman and hero of the third millennium, great. I just don't think they should be doing it from guilt. But what the heck, not my country.

> Did you deliberately set up a straw man, or did you misread my post?

No, I just saw an opportunity to post something I'd been meaning to say, and ran with it.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way