Philosophist Observations: I'm Drowning in a Sea of Memes

by phil on Wednesday Mar 24, 2004 5:37 PM

I didn't ask to be thinking about religion, or Christ, or morals, or attitudes, or philosophies, or democrats, or republicans, or left, or right. I didn't ask to have to make an opinion on gay marriage, to discuss Supreme Court decisions, to look at the land where I was born and connect it to the concept of nationhood.

I didn't ask to think in terms of careers, and marriages, IRAs and college tuitions. I didn't ask to have to testify on the nuances of Indie Rock or Progressive Rock, and to then care about it afterward.

Other forces have foisted all these concepts, or memes, into my head. I woke one day, and there was a dictionary full of issues that I was to then discuss with vigor, where my opinion or lack thereof, or my interest, or lack thereof, would cause me hope and fear, anxiety and optimism, and potentially forge or divide relationships with humans.

Where are the real humans and real emotions that aren't slaves to concepts? I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of memes that I did not ask to germinate in my mind. I open my mouth and out pours these ideas that are fighting not on my behalf but on the behalf of themselves, using the battleground of group consciousness as a place to persist and grow.


Bob said on March 24, 2004 11:59 PM:

I've managed to stop thinking about things since I started riding my bike more. Kyle turned me on to the fact that I've blogged only bike rides for the past two weeks, and I realized that I only think deeply when I'm sitting around the house. If I get away from the house and books and the computer, no more thinking!

I'm not saying that's "better", but it did work for me. Just ride your bike 5 hours a day, and you don't have energy to think!

Philip Dhingra said on March 25, 2004 12:05 AM:

You bring up an interesting point.

In the ultimate balance of things, the memes win. However, we can have indirect control over this flood of memes by being careful with the environments we expose ourselves to.

The Internet has the highest "threat-level" of meme-infection, the library a medium-level, while as the bike path is generally clean. I wonder if we could eventually develop meme-goggles, spot good and bad memes before they germinate, and also choose disinfected surfaces. The dorms, especially the dining halls, for example, are extremely dirty areas for meme-infections.

'Lin' said on March 31, 2004 11:48 AM:

hello Nietzsche

(hehe. ok. semi-joke)

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