Ana Viseu on Mon, 15 May 2000 17:36:43 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> It's not me it's my genes, or is it my memes?

I received this answer to my nettime post 'Its not me its my genes, or is
it my memes?'. I think it is an interesting answer so I am fowarding it
(with the author's permission) to the list. 

Best. Ana

Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 16:06:03 -0400
Subject: memes and genes
From: kenneth <>

The more we seem to advance along the parallel lines of cyber- and genetic
learning, a weird process is suggesting itself to me; a philosophical
devolution of the human concept from the Ďparagon of animalsí to a
metaphor of the computer paradigm. Instead of finding new reforms for our
models of morality to take, that is, to have our humanity mature at a pace
with our new knowledge, we seem to be internalizing our technology. We
speak of ourselves as biological machines, wired by DNA, fated by our
speciesí programming. I canít help feeling that this is a sign of a
self-justifying excuse for society to apply 'medicine' where it sees a
need for 'correction'; eugenics brushes dangerously along the territorial
line of prescribing 'cure' after the conclusion of 'diagnosis'. Itís
starting to sound like we need 'fixing', doesnít it? 

I see this approaching perspective as a greater danger than any amoral
license born of the 'boys will be boys' (or 'all men are dogs') school. I
donít see ourselves as some sort of fleshware lugging around irresistible
Neanderthal programming, waiting for some eugenicsí version of Prozac to
make us citizens. Chaos would perhaps be reduced in our daily lives, but
so would the growth that comes from imperfection. Lifestyles and good
health has been our alternative to surgery and medication; if we apply
this holistic outlook to our genetic profiles, we may still have the
freedom to be responsible for adjusting to this new knowledge of ourselves
'know who and what you are, and thus take care of yourself'. I canít wait
to tell somebody, "Youíve got more memes than brains, buddy!" 

Tudo vale a pena se a alma nao e pequena.

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