virus: The BLAME meme

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 22:31:06 -0700

John Aten on Wed, 24 Apr 1996 wrote:
> I think I had to muck caffeine that day.

Then on the same day:
> I need to slow down my caffeine intake.

Then on Fri, 26 Apr 1996 he wrote:
> I've explained this! I had been reading "The Antichrist" on a caffeine
> buzz! I'm sorry!

BLAME is an interesting meme. One does not have to take responsibility for
one's own actions and statements. It is so convenient to blame it on other
people, circumstances, or even _caffeine_ to explain one's statements. Most
of us are used to it in everyday situations and we do not notice how
dangerous this meme is.

It is also used as a smoke screen. I am not interested in what external
circumstances John blames for saying what he said. I am more interested in
what he really thinks. Who cares if he drinks coffee or not (and reading
about it three times in three days is a bit too much for me). Having pulled
the blame meme from his coffee John does not feel like thinking more for
this discussion. So, what do you _really_ think, John?

There is a negative correlation between blame and success. Winners do not
seem to carry the BLAME meme. They assume responsibility for what they
think, say, and do (although they do not hesitate to change their opinions
if they learn something new). John's caffeine puts Henry Ford's famous
"never complain never explain" in a new light for me. I suggest we watch
the BLAME meme in our discussions, as sometimes it is hidden in a cup of coffee.

Tadeusz Niwinski