Friday, September 11, 2009

Blog 1

Teresa (Starr) Green
Survival of the Fittest Ideas: The New style of War-- a Struggle Among Memes

Part 1:
Brin's Article, in my opinion gives a very spot on interpretation of different countries views. In the article he explains the meaning of memes and his four worldviews. Brin's defintion of meme is element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Brin describes how memes are spread from person to person and in turn become an essential part of history. He then describes how memes can then build to become a view of a certain area. Brin describes 4 worldviews: Paranoia, Machismo, The East, and the Dogma of otherness.

Paranoia is pretty self explanatory. Countries that live in this worldview are always concerned about their enemies coming to attack them. This mindset comes from repeated invasions by other countries for years on end. This in turn reinforces different myths that make the inhabitants feel that even the most extreme leadership tactics. Brin then states that the greatest enemy of paranoia is peace.

The second theme is Machismo. Machismo is one of the leading meme in many parts of the world. The most notable characteristic of this view is the oppression of women. In this view skill and professionalism are often downgraded to benefit male loyalty groups. This deeply threatens by moidernity.

The third view is The East. This view is very big in China. This worldview is known for being very traditional and sane. The main motif is homogenity, which is the group is more important than any individiual.

Finally, the last worldview is the Dogma of otherness. This view is most common in the West. This view cares about diversity. This view is very eager for change, and has high tolerance. They also are known to be very suspicious of authority.

Part 2:
Something very interesting that I learned was that in the Dogma of Otherness that they were known to be suspcious of authority. This was interesting to me because being from the West I do not typically see people question authority. I feel that people should start questioning authority more.

Part 3:
Which worldview do you feel is the most visible in the world and why?


  1. You don't think people in the west question society? Did you mean west part of the country? Or the western hemisphere? I don't think its too uncommon to see people question authority.

  2. Much like many aspects of sociology, I think that it is difficult to categorize large groups of people, combining them into one of four definite spheres, in this case. To generalize further and say that people from the West do or do not question authority is a gross generalization that, in fact, has very individual, if not cultural, determinants.

    Questioning authority can come in many forms, and while one might say that Westerners are generally conformists in some senses, they are also radical in many other ways. Additionally, for these reasons, I don't think I could easily determine which worldview is most visible - there are aspects of each worldview that are very dominant, given any specific place and time.

    To say the least, I have an overall issue with sociologically founded articles (or in this case, a speech) that tend to categorize large classes, groups, coutries, etc. in order to characterize (and sometimes even explain) their societies' behaviors.

  3. (Previous comment posted by Erika Moul)