Re: virus: UTism and Media Memetics

psypher (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 12:39:18 -0400 (EDT)

Prof. Tim opined:

> This is the "Lathe of Heaven" theory--override the minor US/THEMs by
> creating a larger THEM. But it doesn't work long term. At best it
> sublimates the smaller UTisms for a time, but it doesn't ever remove
> them. And they come back just as soon people have ajusted to new
> framework.
> For instance, did WW2 end the "THEM" statis of African-Americans,
> Native Americans or Asians when they all banded together to fight a
> common enemy? Or did it simply side-step the issue in some branches
> of the service until that particular crisis was over? (Not that it
> even "side-stepped" it that well at the time, to be sure.)

...I wonder. The idea of a bigger THEM uniting us has been used time and time again - give everybody something big to work against and they'll set aside their differences for the time being. There's even been research done [I seem to recall from my schooldays] that common struggle unites people.
...What I'm wondering though is this - is the dynamic of working [against THEM] different from the dynamic constructed around working FOR a common goal. Proactive instead of reactive?

...if so, what sort of goal could that be?

-psypher Fastmail's Free web based email for Canadians