Symbiotic Wars

by lsusr 1 min read4th Dec 20196 comments


A meme is a self-replicating pattern of information. Some change. Some survive. Some die out.

The most virulent memes often reproduce themselves via their own inverses. Talking about how Flat Earthers are wrong increases awareness of the Flat Earther meme. Increasing awareness of the Flat Earther meme equals proliferating the Flat Earther meme. Anti Flat Earthers[1] spawn Flat Earthers. Flat Earthers spawn Anti Flat Earthers. Every Anti Flat Earther contains a dormant Flat Earther meme.

A scholar is just a library's way of making another library.

— Daniel Dennett

In this way Flat Earthers and Anti Flat Earthers are different stages of a single meme's lifecycle. If the Anti Flat Earthers' objective is to spread the Anti Flat Earth meme then this information reverb benefits the Anti Flat Earthers.

Capitalism and Communism are two halves of the most successful meme in history, the Cold War. Capitalism was defined by its opposition to Communism. Communism is defined by its opposition to Capitalism. It doesn't matter that Communist states spread a twisted version of Capitalism and Capitalist states spread a twisted version of Communism. During the Cold War, the title of your economic ideology mattered more than than your real-world economy.

Fighting a meme makes it stronger. The best way to kill a meme is to ignore it.

This presents a collective action problem. If you tell everyone to ignore the X meme then you've told everyone about X thereby spreading the X meme. Attacking a meme wins you Pyrrhic victories. To kill a meme you have to make the meme irrelevant by transcending it.

The Cold War meme died when the divide between Capitalism and Communism ceased to be meaningful. The Chinese Communist Party manages the world's largest capitalist economy. By 1901 Bolshevik standards, NATO is an alliance socialist nations.

  1. "Anti Flat Earther" is a different meme from "physics". Anti Flat Earthers refute Flat Earthers' arguments. The physics meme ignores quibble. ↩︎