Re: virus: Extremist Memes

James Veverka (
Thu, 20 May 1999 09:49:23 -0400 (EDT)

Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit

Robin.....You are absolutely correct in your accessment of my caricature. The point we all forget is that it IS the extremists that usually define the platform, the reactions, then the policy initiatives. The extremists end up defining whole groups, which is not fair of course. The extremists then end up framing the arguments.The legislation then proposed becomes not a piece of pragmatic, practical legislation but reactionary The real arguments and wise choices get lost in the scuffle.

Last year on the same day there was a clinic bombing in GA and an arson at Vail, CO (envirofundies claimed responsibility). I watched the political talk shows that had many of the popular leaders in the discussion. Now, these were the mainstream versions of the ideologies. All refused to condemn the actions. What kind of message does that send? What does it inspire? WHO are the extremists if the mainstream won't condemn violence? We forget the power of Memes when we don't give extremists their due.

Last night at the House of Representatives ( I watch C-SPAN on occasion) my least favorite people in our system (conservatives) took Al Gores book and the global warming myth to task. They were right on the mark. There is no "crisis", just ongoing work. Thirty years ago a day in LA would sting your eyes, now that is not true. But the rant still continues!!!!! WHY??? Because the reaction to the parts of the whole that are false throws what is true in the garbage too. The reason I sometimes caricature is because the fringes define the all or nothing platforms of political parties. Which brings me full circleback to my stand. A few extremists are a lot of trouble.

Of course I am a product of our polarized politics in the USA. Millions here wish for a party of practicality instead of a few practical politicians in otherwise dogmatic, anachronistic parties............. jim

Content-Disposition: Inline
Content-Type: Message/RFC822
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit

Received: from ( by; Thu, 20 May 1999 02:34:26
	-0700 (PDT)

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( []) by (8.8.8/ms.graham.14Aug97)
	with ESMTP id CAA21998; Thu, 20 May 1999 02:34:25 -0700 (PDT)
Received: (from majordom@localhost) by (8.9.1/8.9.1) id
	DAA05141 for virus-outgoing; Thu, 20 May 1999 03:26:42 -0600
Message-ID: <> Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 10:17:06 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <> Subject: Re: virus: Cow
References: <> <> In-Reply-To: <> MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: Turnpike (32) Version 4.00 <pEAKsn0vpZ7L3++1u3fvff$uLa> Sender:
Precedence: bulk

In message <>, James Veverka <> writes
>As much a spawn of the devil as any misguided group that would return us
>to global poverty, the diminishment of human rights, overtaxing, big
>governments, less overall personal safety, and brutishness. That's the
>result of the policies that would be "enshrined". The blind attitude of
>the envirofundies is the same you will find in the pro-life picketers
>around a woman's health clinic. And the antichoice people have some
>other things in common with the e-fundie... Bombing and arson:
>Terrorism. So, yes, they are bad seed, and bad memes too. The sky is
>NOT falling and Jesus is NOT coming again!

My point is, what proportion of environmentalists are "envirofundies", and to what extent do you let the real extremists define the issues.

My last job (I'm now self-employed) was as a researcher in a university environmental science department. My previous job was in an economics department, looking at MARKET instruments for pollution control (tradable permits). I've been a member of both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth for probably 15 years, and generally in favour of environmentalism and "green living" for longer than that. I voted for the Green party in the recent elections here (an option I'm sure you don't get in the US), and there is now one Green member of the new Scottish parliament. I know the energy spokesman for the Scottish Greens (helped him get on the net), and was close friends at one time with one of their previous parliamentary candidates. In my experience, the picture you paint is a caricature, and says a lot more about your own political theories than it does about real people. I've never met anyone who advocated any form of violence as environmental action. Extremes are always easier to understand, but it's a very serious mistake to view them as typical.

Robin Faichney
Visit The Conscious Machine at