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Old 01-03-2011, 03:40 PM
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Default can your insanity be cured? What kind of insanity is it?

I have thought for a while on what insanity Neytiri is talking about exactly. Of course it is obvious what the effects of it are in Avatar and in our world and to the ones who step just tiny step back it looks obvious that it is insane, but what is behind it? Looking for answers, I pulled a lot of analogies and metaphors out of my head in various posts here and on AF (and elsewhere) trying to explain. Now I have found an article that is quite head on. It describes something indigenous people call the wetiko disease and the article linked in blog describes it as a contageous mental illness. It was very enlightening as an adept description of the phaenomenon. I am eagerly awaiting what "part 2" will bring.

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In the computer age, we have come to accept that a physical biological virus/bacterium is not the only way a disease can spread. Computer viruses, email-worms, memes and "viral marketing" are prime examples of such nonphysical diseases. It should come to no surprise then, that the same can apply to cultural memes, spreading with that culture or even becoming part of that culture itself like a virus that puts its genes in the hosts body cells forever. The indigenous people called the Cree have a term for the disease (and many others have different words) that has spread around the globe in the past hundreds of years. It is called the "Wetiko disease" (the "cannibal disease") - a term describing a mental sickness, a psychosis leading to a person literally eating other lives. It was known as such forever but that now has spread like an epidemic.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:45 PM
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Interesting (although a little long and I will admit I just skimmed most of it), although in that case then I disagree with the author that it is completely linked to civilisation - instead, it is linked to a specific subset of human nature, and is, in essence, learned behaviour like so much else.

I've always had an interest in memetics and analogous diseases, an article I found interesting was this one.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:35 PM
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Well I think the author refers to civilization as we know it, or so-called civilization (referring to a Ghandi quote who basically disapproved of western civilization being eligible to call itself civilized - the way it behaves). So I am reading this under the assumption that civilization refers to what we know as it now. And it is quite clear that civilization as we know it has incorporated some of these memes and is based on some of them, like domination over and seperation from nature, the feeling of superiority and entitlement. Without these things, civilization would not be anything at all like we know it. Probably it would be a culture that we would not call civilization at all, as it would most likely be lower in population and less centralized (both of them require these memes).

your article is lengthy, too - I'll see if I find the time to read it all or skim over it.
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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