Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Biologic Cultural Warfare

Use the tactics of invasive species.
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

For good or bad, there is a war on terrorism. Bullets and bombs are one facet of this, but no-one really thinks violence can change the culture of radical Islam which gives rise to terrorism. To change attitudes, new ideas must replace the old: to this end, cultural warfare is one aspect of the war on terrorism.

To better move in and supplant undesirable ideas and practices, I propose that effective cultural warfare could take a page from the playbook of biology and borrow the tactics of invasive species. For my example: invasive honeysuckle, which is rapidly taking over woods and fields in my area. No native animals or insects can eat these plants, and no natives can interbreed with them. They thus remain distinct and untouched, and are not assimilated into the existing ecosystem. They move through and replace native plants; native herbivores must move on to find food elsewhere.

However, the honeysuckle produces prolific berries, which are very edible and desired by local birds. These birds eat the fruit, multiply and spread the seed, thus facilitating the replacement of native plants by honeysuckle.

The application to cultural warfare: introduced concepts must have a very attractive component, to facilitate spread. However the underlying principles must both be irrevocably wedded to the attractive component, and so distinct from the concepts and practices of the invaded area that they cannot be diluted or merged to form less attractive hybrids.

[kevindimie] pointed out to me that, by convergent evolution, McDonalds already embodies this concept. The fruit in this case is the tasty burgers and fast service. The immutable underlying principle is the economic model and supply system that McDonalds imports with it and maintains undiluted by local business practices. This economic model then serves as a model to emulate by native businesses.

Fishboners may say this is self evident and that obviously, all cultural warfare must follow this paradigm. Not so: the spread of Christianity was one of merger, not of replacement – local rites and gods were assimilated and merged, often intact, into the Catholic pantheon. It worked – and some may say that this approach has less taint of cultural imperialism. I think that adoption of the Christianity model risks leaving undesirable cultural aspects intact, rather than supplanting them. If this is to be a war of ideas, the undesirable ones must be eliminated.

bungston, Jun 01 2003

Invasive (japanese) honeysuckle http://samab.org/Fo...Honey/japhoney.html
[bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Guava http://www.nps.gov/...lien/fact/psca1.htm
Another invasive plant which uses these tactics. [bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Purple Loosestrife. http://www.npwrc.us...osstrf/loosstrf.htm
Life on Earth. [ty6, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Meme definition http://whatis.techt...9_gci212545,00.html
Meme = cultural knowledge passed through generations [kevindimie, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

'Meme' as defined by Richard Dawkins.
An etymological and example-driven definition of the word 'meme'. [idyll, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       So what? You've invented the meme.   

       You're capable of better, [bungston].
snarfyguy, Jun 01 2003

       But as a Nation of Christians I don't think it would be right to employ any heretical Darwinian ideas in our Crusade against Islam. I recommend we take the examples of adaptation you mentioned out of Biology textbooks as soon as possible.
calculust, Jun 01 2003

       I have two problems with this.   

       First, you assume that the teachings of Islam are a primary motivation for terrorism.   

       Second, you do not have a new paradigm with which to replace the current one.   

       Personal opinions and paradigms aside, I cconnot condone the wholesale sublimation by force or by cunning of a population. Have a fishbone.
ato_de, Jun 01 2003

       So we should blame all this on radical Islamists should we?   

       The way I see it at the moment is that there is a bunch of radical religeous nutters in the west, dropping weapons of mass destruction, on a bunch of people in a couple of dilapidated countries in the East, while blaming another bunch of radical religeous nutters.< who nobody can find. Probably 'cos they're hiding in Florida. Or somewhere.   

       Pity the children who don't differentiate wether the hi explosive is 'smart', or strapped around someones waist. Either way, its deadly, indiscriminate and ultimately a negative action.   

       Perhaps a better way would be for the religeous amongst us ( Not me, I don't have a religeon, Not one with a name, anyway) to actually follow the bottom line of their respective religeons, and treat everyone as a brother. Problem solved.
briandamage, Jun 01 2003

       I can breed with honeysuckle.
sambwiches, Jun 01 2003

       [snarfguy], try again on your understanding of memes. See link.
kevindimie, Jun 05 2003

       <scribbles etymology note... “meme - 1976”>
Shz, Jun 05 2003

       [kevindimie]: Try again on your own understanding of memes. See link, which contains an excerpt from Dawkins' work, 'The Selfish Gene'.
idyll, Jun 05 2003

       Fighty folks: snarfyguy simplified this idea by calling it an invented meme. Some memes (self-propagating ideas) might be useful in the proposed context of cultural warfare, but I think only the broadest definition would categorize McDonalds as a meme. The point behind this idea is that introduced practices/values must be propagated by natives because they find it in their interest to do so, and must also be mutually exclusive with the native practices/values they supplant.
bungston, Jun 05 2003

       What I meant by that comment was, yeah, [bungston]'s come up with a theory whereby an idea replicates itself, insinuating itself into a cultural awareness.   

       We probably stand about as much a chance of pulling this off as radical fundamental islamists do of infiltrating Western collective consciousness with their ideas.   

       It's an interesting thought, though, and I'm sorry if I was harsh with my first comment.
snarfyguy, Jun 05 2003

       So you're saying it becomes a meme once it's established. Gotcha. [bungston] seems to be saying that the meme first needs to be inserted into the "meme pool." Ok. Now I feel warm and fuzzy. But maybe that's from the schnapps.
kevindimie, Jun 06 2003

       Your not supposed to have schnapps.
pashute, Jul 30 2014

       /schnapps/ He has become a Breatharian since that post, so no worries. Nothing but clean air for [kevindimie] these days. And porn.
bungston, Jul 30 2014


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle