The Disease Model For Ideas | INFJ Forum

The Disease Model For Ideas


Community Member
Apr 5, 2010
I was reading a terribly interesting article last night regarding 'social diseases'. Social diseases are spread through socialization with other human beings. Obesity is one such disease according to this idea.

Now I think obesity is a poor example but what if one were to treat the whole of our human system as a living organism and ideas and concepts as cells (which are just information. DNA.) then I believe sincerely we might find a better way of dealing with the truly damaging infections which surround us. Damage is defined in this case as ideas which get into a person and change their behavior in such a way as they become unable to socialize with the majority of their surrounding population or humanity at large.

What are viruses? They're just information. Wrapped up in a protein and growing in a particular set of cells they transfer from one person to the next and one cell to the next.

Ideas and viruses have a surprising amount in common. Take one common idea in this country. A virus has to have a vector. Weed is Bad.

This is one of the most common ideas our civilization has running. It's patently operating on falsified information and the attempts to enforce the idea have been a thousand times more damaging than the thing which it is fighting.

What was the vector by which 'Weed is Bad' was spread? Nancy Reagan was a big contributor so we'll call her one of the vectors. We'll also call the public education campaigns run by both government and private industries which had something to gain from outlawing hemp 'vectors'. The cells are individual people.

How many individual people were hurt by the attempts at this spreading disease? It moves into a person via a public education campaign then grows or is rejected. Rejection is done via the brain's internal immune system. Some people have better immune systems than others and some immune systems will actually attack beneficial ideas (in the same way some people's bodies will attack the lining of the stomach or other parts which they shouldn't)

Over time people have developed and mutated an immunity to this damaging disease/idea and now it's lost a lot of it's credibility.

If this is in fact the case, wouldn't it be likely that we could develop anti-biotic memes which would effect diseases that infect culture? Few people could logically claim the legal system of Afghanistan which throws small children and young girls in jail for being raped by men three times their age they were 'married' to is a beneficial idea. Still it heavily infects their culture.

Killing a cell is a counter-productive method for removing a disease. If a cell splits open, it spills the virus all around it. A martyr to the viral cause.

Now this is just a rudimentary idea just now. I would like feedback.
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If a cell splits open, it spills the virus all around it. A martyr to the viral cause.

not necessarily, if it's ingested by a phagocyte it could be "split open" without contaminating other cells :p kind of like isolating a prisoner before executing them.

love this idea though, i do see a lot of parallels between harmful ideas & harmful viruses, both can cause destruction of the host body if not soon eradicated or at least controlled.

is obesity, or jailing girls in afghanistan (i'm sure there's more to that story) really a harmful idea though? it's going to depend on which "cell" you're talking to. what gives the right for some ideas to flourish while others are restricted & repelled? why DO we accept certain philosophies over others? in the long run, maybe it'll be good for humanity if we were all obese (ok, probably not, but you get my point, the future is unpredictable to some extent.) so before we embark on a crusade to "immunize" people from these viral ideas we'd have to be absolutely sure they actually are damaging society. which imo, would be hard to achieve without injecting some of your own biased desires into the equation.

anyway, say we could do that, then probably things like political ad campaigns, and those "eat vegetables & exercise" posters that you see at doctor's surgeries and other such places, would be the equivalent of an antibiotic. you'd have to take a regularly dosage for them to be effective - and not mix them up with other drugs (ie. alternative solutions) - but they could work in the same way and get you healthy again, which would mean you'd be thinking the way the society needs you to think for the system to work as designed.

i think the natural immunity people have developed over time is nothing more than a preference for certain drugs over others. you're like a junkie your whole life and have tried different drugs to get you high, some have worked, some haven't; you're perpetually sick because of all the dangerous viral ideas floating around contaminating your pure heart & therefore perpetually medicated either through your own means or through somebody else's. I think indeed you could create memes to target specific diseases which are corrupting the whole of society, one cell at a time, but it would be putting the cart before the horse (too many analogies?) you'd have to first figure out for sure, and come to some overall consensus about whether they're harmful at all. which is probably going to generate a lot of conflicting opinions.
The idea that moral systems are completely subjective is a fantasy of solipsism and that valuation is impossible due to the biased nature of individual thought. You can create a value structure for economic systems and it operates to distribute resources in a way that supports many varied occupations spread across the entirety of this planet.

If we reduce things to 'right' and 'wrong' then yes we will fail to understand the impact of our activity on the world around us. Morality is legislated in a subjective manner by individuals based on greatest benefit to that person. One can still establish a system of consequences and rewards which leads to specific goals. If the goals effectively lead to outcomes which are preferable along certain establishable measureable lines then you can say the goal is 'moral'.

The means do justify the ends.

Controversial statement, yes? Think about it. What is the means where placing a young girl in jail for being raped is concerned? The means is a system of 'justice' whereby the victim is blamed for the crime even though she was the one acted upon. What is the result? A young child suffers terrible violence so a man who raped her doesn't have to. The means didn't make the ends fair or right.

Hitler's goals were to establish a master race. His means were genocide and war. His ends were perfectly justified and we remember what those ends were. He died, his cause is now a synonym for the failure of ethnic purity, and his adopted country was split amongst his enemies.

Now break this down further. What is one of the fundamental functions of a simian brain? The desire to protect our young. Regardless of our 'moral' standing, when we are infected with an informational disease which disables the part of us which protects our young and is therefor counter-productive to our advancement as individuals and as a species we are malfunctioning.

We are not blank slates. Tabula rasa has been disproven. We do have established functions which aren't socialized into us. They exist as part of the basic function of our cells and our organism as a whole.