SOCIETY: memetic warfare

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:40:31 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> On Thu, 26 Dec 1996, The Low Willow wrote:
> > What you're missing is the *type* of
> > intelligence. Magical knowledge can turn one into a witch or shaman, to
> > be burned or respected. People knowledge puts you on top more reliably
> > than beating people up.
> Good point! Socially intelligent people of course have much better
> potential to rise in the pecking order, while other forms of intelligence
> doesn't help in this field, except if the owner can apply them for a
> status-enhancing activity of some kind.
> If this hypothesis holds, then we should see a lessening of the belief
> "semantic intelligence precludes social intelligence" in areas where the
> knowledge is becoming widespread (like in parts of the computer industry)
> and an increase in areas where new cadres of experts are developing, as
> well as a time-correlation between technologisation and the spread of the
> belief in different nations. Any data on this? Perhaps checking popular
> literature would be a good idea.

How about examining the degree to which people revile certain
professions? Car salesmen, lawyers, bankers, hackers, etc seem to the
average person to have "secret knowledge" which they then use to take
advantage of others. Plumbing alone mystifies many people, as well as
draining their wallets. Possibly a historical example of memetic
synergies would by the anti-semitism of Nazi Germany. There you had a
populaly percieved notion that because Jews respected scholarship, they
occupied a large percentage of the positions of economic and social
leadership. Due to the hyperinflationary stress of living in Germany in
the 20s and 30s, there was obviously a huge level of economic
apprehension. if you tie these two memes together, plus the historical
Christian bias against Jews, you get the Third Reich.

WHile that movement was focused on bankers, think about the level of
memetic hysteria towards lawyers today. What sort of additional memes
would synergize with the current dissatisfaction with government and
lawyers to the point that we could actually see a true movement to hang
the lawyers? Of course you have a natural mechanism of negative
feedback: to outlaw lawyers you need to pass laws, which takes lawyers,
so this would be a difficult profession to get up in arms against.
Anyways, most people understand how laws work, as they've been on one
end or the other of at least a few laws in their lives.

Using this, think of the building luddism in our society. What sort of
memes would help synergize their memes, and what ones will act as
negative feedback?


Michael Lorrey --------------------------------------------------------- President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive --------------------------------------------------------- Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Certified Genius.