virus: Re: compassion and justice (formerly AIDS meme)

Hakeeb A. Nandalal (
Wed, 23 Oct 1996 07:01:44 +0000

Vicki Rosenzweig wrote :-

> The possibly memetic point is: Speaking of technicalities, here's one:
> a group of armed men break into your house.......
> .........
> ..... because the armed men are police, their invasion of your
> home without a warrant is called a "technicality."

I know where you're coming from, I've been/am there myself. Playboy magazine has
entire sections devoted to reporting scenarios like the one you've described (I only
read Playboy for the articles). In fact I first read of the MacMartin case in
Playboy long before it became well known and eventually a TV movie with James Woods.

I described a hypothetical with an armed drug pusher getting away and you've
described the police abusing their power, both cases sanctioned by the courts.
Neither is really "justice" as it is intended to be. My argument is that in order to
prevent more occurrences of your scenario (illegal search and seizure of innocents),
occurrences of my scenario (real criminals getting away on technicalities) become
more frequent. Sometimes the outcome of police activity can only be judged after the
fact : did innocents get harassed or did real crooks get caught?

Given that your lawmakers have decided that freedom from potential police harassment
outweighs the need to crack down on criminals by way of questionable search and
seizure we've come right back to my original hypothesis : the "justice" meme is
giving way to the "criminal" meme because of the very nature of the justice system,
which is to assume innocence until proven guilty. Unfortunately this noble approach
is vulnerable to the criminal meme, which by its very nature, takes advantage of the
weaknesses of the "justice" meme. Therefore if I decided to take a drive at 40
m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone with a car which had no apparent defects, and which has
10 kilos of cocaine, an uzi, several automatic pistols and a "drug pusher on board"
sign in the rear window (first amendment), the police would have no legal reason to
stop me and search the car even if they "know" what I've got.

I'm all for freedom etc. but what I want you to appreciate is my purely memetic
hypothesis : the "justice" meme can pave the way for the "criminal" meme in certain
circumstances when the former is applied blindly and the latter adapts to the
loopholes of the former.

As for the "runaway compassion" meme : would you agree that something like
unilateral disarmament could play into the hands of an enemy State and that it's
possible that a "ban the bomb" march could be secretly organized and funded by such
enemies who themselves have the bomb but would never allow such a march in their own
country? Some people think that "mutually assured destruction" is "mad-ness" but I
personally think that unilateral disarmament is even more madness if the other
country is Iraq or South Korea, two countries that have shown that they are
incapable of playing by the rules.

> The apology is to Hakeeb, for my US-centrism.....

That's OK, there's no need for an apology. This board is based in the US and your
assumption was reasonable. Maybe if I wrote in Trinidadian dialect .... mon!

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* Hakeeb A. Nandalal *
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