First of all, I dislike using labels such as “terrorist.” Labels such as these tend to dehumanize the person we’re talking about and help perpetuate a culture of “enemy images.” And “enemy images” are the driving force that perpetuates terrorism.
But to unwrap this label, let’s agree that terrorism means: “the systematic use of fear, especially as a means of coercion.” The question that comes to my mind is: How could anyone come to believe that using fear to influence someone else to do what we want is the best strategy? (Just look at the history of the Middle East if you want to see how ineffective this strategy is at truly resolving issues.)
Well, the best answer I’ve found to this question has to do with how we unwittingly adopt our culture’s beliefs and then unquestioningly act on them. I haven’t seen anyone who explains this more succinctly than this talk given by …
Dan Dennett: On ants, terrorism, and the awesome power of meme
Here’s one of those talks that can change your view of the world forever. Starting with the deceptively simple story of an ant, Dan Dennett unleashes a dazzling sequence of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of “memes” — a term coined by Richard Dawkins for mental concepts that are literally alive and capable of spreading from brain to brain. On the way, look out for:
+ a powerful one-sentence secret of happiness
+ a compelling insight into terrorists’ motivation
+ a chilling view of Islam
And just when you think you know where the talk’s heading, it dramatically shifts direction and questions some of western culture’s fundamental assumptions.
This Is Unmissable.
After viewing this talk, it’s not hard to understand how a dangerous set of relationship memes has hijacked most of the brains in today’s culture, and why people end up acting the way they do on “dating” and Survivor type reality shows.
Fascinating stuff! What do you think?
Committed to Your Success,
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