Half Truths and Nehru

{My first blog was “Life is a Random Draw” which I started writing sometime in 2000 or so. Before blogs, we used to waste spend time on the usenet. Anyway, I hauled this bit from my Berkeley blog.}

Half truths. That’s what interests me today.

And when half truths are dished out by half-wits for the consumption of the totally witless, the result is curiously fascinating. That is of course a general statement and one would like a ‘fer instance’ at this point. And I am about to illustrate that general statement.
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Viruses, Ideas and their Life Expectancy

The wiki page about virus says that it “is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms . . .” Ideas are analogous to viruses because they too are infectious agents that replicate in living brains. The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term meme to mean a unit of idea that can infect a brain and get transmitted to other brains. Viruses are responsible for genetic diversity through horizontal gene transfer. Analogously, ideas are responsible for diversity of human mentality.

Viruses of biological kind are generally bad for the organism, just like the software variety are bad for computers. There are no good viruses. In contrast, ideas come in two principle varieties: the benevolent and the malevolent. The good kind leads to overall benefits, both to the individual with the idea and to the collective of individuals that have that idea. The malevolent kind inflicts great harm but they eventually die out. There are two pathways. One, they just destroy the host collective, thus resulting in the extinction of the bad idea. Or, two, they mutate into a less malevolent form that does not kill the host, or even into a benevolent idea that benefits the host. Good ideas are forever and bad ideas are never forever.
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