Saturday, August 19, 2006

Down with the Flu

The advent of digital computers and the emergence of the internet have allowed the development of a generalized theory of viruses as invasive self-replicating structures within information systems. Biological organisms, human cultures, and computer networks all constitute information systems which can be exploited by virus-like entities.

In many ways radical Islam acts as a virus on societal structures. It is passed from host to host rapidly, without the necessity of any intervention by formal political structures. The bug is simply in the air, and is picked up by the susceptible recipient through the vectors of mosque communities and media propaganda.

A T-4 bacteriophageOne of the simplest forms of a biological virus is a bacteriophage. It consists of a strand of DNA enclosed in a protein coat, a set of leg-like structures which attach to a host’s cell wall, and a neck or proboscis which enables the virus to breach the cell wall and inject its DNA into the bacterium.

This is possibly the simplest chemical structure to which the adjective “living” might be applied. If one were to digitize the bacteriophage’s entire system - the codons of the DNA sequence, the lattice structure of the protein molecules in the dodecahedral coat, the protein fibers of the legs, and the protein chains in the neck and basal plate - the whole thing might take fewer bits of storage than the web page you’re viewing right now. Yet in short order the bacteriophage uses the bacterium’s own cell machinery to replicate itself over and over within its host until the cell bursts, releasing all the new viruses into the environment to find new hosts and repeat the process.

A computer virus functions in a fashion that is exactly analogous to the modus operandi of the bacteriophage. It emerges from the environment (the internet) and attaches itself to its host (a PC) via a vulnerable receptor site (a hole in the firewall). It replicates itself using the host’s own mechanisms (the script-running software) and then bursts back out into the environment (via emailed copies of itself) to repeat the process.

Any information system is vulnerable to the same kind of malformation: if it provides a mechanism for transmitting and replicating information, it can be infected by the equivalent of viruses.

A T-4 bacteriophageCultures are information systems that exist within a different substrate from those of biological cells or computer systems. The individual - with a cultural template stored in his brain - is the equivalent to a computer or a cell, and his environment is the complex network of communication by which humans exchange information.

Radical Islam is a very simple information structure, yet quite adept at invading its hosts. It travels through various media and finds a vulnerable receptor in the outer defenses of its host - a cultural template weakened by decades of political correctness and the behavioral sink of the modern popular media - and uses the host’s intellectual mechanisms to reproduce via proselytizing.

A virulent virus may in time destroy itself by being too effective, killing off all the available hosts. But this is of no concern to the viral meme as it spreads and replicates - immediate survival and reproduction are its only motivation.

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Any information system - biological or otherwise - that is attacked by viruses develops a defense against such infections. A complex biological organism develops an immunological system - antibodies, white blood cells, and so on - to resist new infections. A savvy computer user installs anti-virus software. Cultures develop their own defenses, collectively-held memes affirmed by restatement in simple forms - slogans, visual images, common rituals, etc.

Among the most effective - and therefore dangerous - viruses are the immunodeficiency viruses such as HIV. They have evolved mechanisms to attack and disable the host organism’s own immunological system at its vulnerable points.

Likewise, a sophisticated computer virus will disable a host’s anti-virus software as one of its first actions after infecting a host. Not long ago Dymphna’s laptop was infected by a nasty internet worm, and the first thing it did was disable the Norton anti-virus software, while allowing it to maintain a façade of its normal functioning. After that the worm could proceed with its dirty work unimpeded.

So what is the radical Islamic version of HIV?

Islam (and not just the radical version) has found the points of PC vulnerability in our cultural immunological system. The antibodies that would otherwise surround and neutralize its memes are converted into “racism” and thus rendered non-functional. The white blood cells of the media, which would otherwise engulf the invader and destroy it, have been thinned out by the leukemia of socialist internationalism and have been co-opted and completely disabled by the invader.

If we are to overcome this infection we must restore our cultural immunological system. We need to establish new lymph nodes in the form of new media, which can then send out healthy white blood cells to engulf the invaders. Deny the enemy the use of “you’re a racist”, and our antibodies can begin to function again.

It’s going to be a long uphill struggle. The pharmacology of cultural anti-retrovirals is still in its infancy.

23 comments:

Massachusetts Republican said...

Before 9/11 I would have said you were a sting racist. Now you are my hero. Its sad that it is true in that the comparison is neither inaccurate nor racist.

reliapundit said...

they do not need cultural retrovirals.

they need something stronger - a stronger chemotherapy or even nuclear medicine.

something like a u239 enema.

inserted into mecca's rectum.

heh.

ScottSA said...

Excellent analogy. I would however emphasize that it is "moderate" Islam who is the virus. Radical Islam is a broadsword and easily defended against by precaution. True, radical Islam may someday use a gun and be more dangerous yet, but viral moderate Islam is at work as we speak, in the form of seemingly innocuous requests for family laws, blasphemy laws and suggestions that we change national foreign policy aims.

snowonpine said...

Something ideas I posted on another blog discussing the threat of Islam seem an appropriate post here too, considering the issue under discussion.--

The poster who wondered why "discrimination" has become a dirty word has put his finger on the reason we are having so much trouble in identifying our enemy. Discrimination used to be defined as the act of analyzing and evaluating the qualities of various things against some scale of values in order to rank them according to which is best.

Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, whose ideas were well known and very well received on campus, proposed a slow, non-military way for revolutionaries to take over a society by using the academy, cultural elites and the media to devalue and then revalorize the target society's key leadership cadre, moral values, norms and attitudes and attack, takeover and remake its key social building blocks--the church, schools, the family, government. Once these revolutionaries accomplished this, it would be they who would be running the society instead of the former leaders who they had managed to discredit and it would be their ideas, their morals and their ideals that would be the new norm all, of course, justified as "progress."

Words have power and words, ideas, concepts--right, wrong, moral, fair, objective, good, evil, discrimination--were the key for Gramsci; can anyone deny that this attack plan hasn't been brilliantly carried out. Multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness have carried the field and whole categories of thought and ways of analysis and standards to measure by have been banished from everyday use and discussion.

The result, we can no longer discriminate, weigh or judge anything or anyone for, to do so, would be to be unfair, a bigot or racist and to use the old measuring stick of good and evil is to be branded ill-informed, hopelessly out of date, a provincial, a conservative or worse; all easily ignored. It's as if someone who needed glasses to see things clearly so that he could safely navigate through the world had had his glasses taken away from him and he now had to stumble around in a blurry and forever undefinable and, therefore, much more dangerous, world. That is the position we find ourselves in today. Thus, all the confusion about who and what our enemy is because, in the postmodernist view, which suffuses the courses taught at most of our universities and which is believed by most of our cultural elites and opinion makers, there is no objective reality, truth or objective good and evil and therefore, all religions are equal, one person sees a terrorist while another sees a freedom fighter and, since there are no objective standards, who is to say which observer is right? Its all Roshomon to them.

Anonymous said...

- In many ways radical Islam acts as a virus on societal structures.
- Radical Islam is a very simple information structure, yet quite adept at invading its hosts.
- So what is the radical Islamic version of HIV?

(My emphases.)

What's the point of using the adjective "radical" in all of those sentences? I don't see any reason why it should be there, so its inclusion comes across as odd.

However, I guess you think there is a reason why it should be included (beyond that of taking care not to hurt Eteraz' sensitivities, which I get the feeling is of utmost importance around here, though for all I know maybe that's not as important as impressions suggest...), and it would therefore be interesting to have an explanation.

Mr. Spog said...

To add to Snowonpine's comment: Even "prejudice", pre-judgement, was once considered a morally neutral, not a bad thing. One could speak of "just or unjust prejudice". In the words of Edmund Burke:

"...we are generally men of untaught feelings, that, instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason, because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages .... Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit, and not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature."

This is likely to be met with blank stares by today's enlightened liberals, though. Probably one should try to rehabilitate "discrimination" first. We still have "indiscriminate", which somehow retains its old meaning, to work from.

Vol-in-Law said...

Cultural Marxism (of which PC is a manifestation) is the virus which destroys the host's immune system, like AIDS. The Frankfurt School & Antonio Gramsci designed it that way. Radical Islamism is IMO merely the later opportunist infection which kills the host, like pneumonia.

Charles Martel said...

Mr. Spog,

One of my favorite quotes by my favorite philosopher, Edmund Burke - a giant upon whose shoulders all conservatives stand.

Profitsbeard said...

'Been in the field of creating 'cultural antibodies' [psycho-neuro-mytho-pharmicology?] for several years, and I have to agree that it is essential that the governments of the free world start bringing in wider fields of defenders [attack/counter-attack agents].

Cyber-, cinematic, musical, linguistic, pure scientific, artistic, et al.

(Who would have guessed that a few harmless cartoons -from Denmark- could cause global Islamic incontinence?)

The antitoxin/antibiotic material is simmering everywhere, online and off, -and the enemy is already doing it, through The Online Jihad (theocratic snuff films being their forte).

Islam's [mind-] warriors need answering.

Hard.

Russet Shadows said...

The big weakness of America is "liberal white guilt". This provides an easy way for the Muslims to pose as yet another minority group which the liberals can feel bad about mistreating (even though they never did) which causes all sorts of backflips and genuflections and monies to head the way of Islamists.

kidbuck said...

You offer excellent insights into the modern’s aversion to discrimination and prejudice. However, might there be a simpler explanation as to why non-judgmental is all the rage? I don’t think these people can plan three moves, nor three days, ahead as implementing Gramsci’s ideas requires.
Guilt brings us closer to the crux of it. These people want to assuage their own guilt by postulating that everybody does it. Democracy is the supreme value. Therefore, what the mob does, which is thumb its nose at traditional Western values, excuses my personal shortcomings, which are legion. I don’t mean guilt in the sense that my grandfather kept slaves, either. I mean the more personal guilt such as I am a wanker, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t get as much credit for fixating on this as the putz who spends his time getting grades in adult subjects with math in them? We are morally equivalent. And while I’m at it why can’t I do all this stoned?
“If it feels good do it,” is really what mankind was wanting to hear.

Lady Hawk said...

Snowonpine and Mr. Spog, have eloquently and succinctly explained how we are losing our will and our freedom. The Baron has given hope that winning back our freedom is possible. The USA's Independence from England was won by a minority. I hope freedom lovers today, who also appear to be a minority, fight just like our forefathers did to get our freedom back.

DontDrinkTheTaqiyya said...

On political correctness as an IED, an "Ideological Explosive Device" -- (just coined that) -- which is now turned against us in the West as a knowing and capable tool of Islamic infection, the Baron wrote in his main piece:

Islam (and not just the radical version) has found the points of PC vulnerability in our cultural immunological system. The antibodies that would otherwise surround and neutralize its memes are converted into “racism” and thus rendered non-functional.

Before starting today on Oriana Fallaci's The Force of Reason, I took another look at The Rage and the Pride and note this following passage. The scene is Florence, Italy:

The vendors squat inside the splendid courtyard between the two arcades of the Uffizi Galleries, the Vasari Courtyard...(selling) merchandise fabricated on models protected by patent...posters, postcards, cheap watches...

Woe betide the policeman who approaches them to ceremoniously ask, "Mr. Vendor, Your Excellency, please, would you care to move your stuff just an inch and let people walk?" - They eat him alive. They bite him like vicious dogs. At the very least they insult his mother, his father, his ancestors, his progeny. And the Florentines keep their mouths shut, intimidated, resigned, blackmailed by the word - "Racist."

The PC-Cult KILLS...The Multi-Cult KILLS...Political Correctness KILLS

Baron Bodissey said...

ScottSA, Anonymous --

I did not say that radical Islam was the only cultural virus, merely that it was the most virulent. It may be the one that destroys itself by killing off all its hosts.

Please look again and note that I said: Islam (and not just the radical version) has found the points of PC vulnerability in our cultural immunological system.

sharinlite said...

Right on, as usual. When PC is in play, then it is mandatory that all morality be done away with. Once we have lost all sense of morals, then the PC crowd can play to its content. What they do not understand is that they too will be infected and die if they do not accept the code of the virus as an antibody.

Scott said...

My Dearest Baron and Dymphna:

You and Mark Steyn have convinced me, that the profit motive, & other core values (Courage, honor, Commitment), have to be "Caught" as they aren't being Taught.

Virus is a good analogy, but like all the people living on areas just above sea level on Sumatra Island, They'd had Sunamis before, and we in the west have now also.

A Big Sunami is coming, ... oneday soon, as millions of people in the West still choose (metaphorically speaking) to live about 7 ft. above sea level in a broad delta.

The both of you and Mark Steyn, Theodore Dalrymple, Charles Johnosn, Victor Davis Hanson, others, have convinced me.

My Actions must now all be focused in preserving something of Western Civilization for our own children and their Children.

First steps are of course lots of Hunting, Fishing, Construction and engineering, Farming and Dude Ranch vacations with the kids, neccessary Skills they will need in addition to those highly recruited small liberal arts college educations.

Helping them establish necessary training and supplies, Bibles, Christian Education materials, and of Course Physical Training, Field Manual 21-150, Lot's of hunting rifles all in .308 and of course quite a few handguns, not to mention plenty of stores from those Mormon Companies that sell you a couple years of meals in cans, ready to go.

Then there's location, probably not far from a good small State College town (and let them maintain the library), and wouldn't hurt if it had a National Guard Armory with a really wise & friendly Major in Charge.

Southern Oregon looks pretty good if we can somehow come up with a couple of thousand acres.

You two want to work on the Human Resource and Personell component ?

I figure we'll need about a couple hundred Amish & their Draft horses, cows & livestock to grow food, welders & Iron workers (blacksmiths), lumberjacks, carpenters, plumbers, stone masons, Police, judges, School teachers, Baseball/football/basketball coaches, a dentist, a few nurses, a surgeon or two, and about ten former army and Marine corps first sargeants, then there's skilled diesel Mechanics and electricians particularly those who know how to build and wire power generating plants. Some HAM radio guys, a half dozen electronics geeks, Tailors, weavers, Shoemakers, a Catholic priest, a rabbi, and a few conservative Protestant preachers, Some Singers, Dancers, musicians and a couple of theater directors would be nice ... but not too many. And last but not least ... two Brewmasters and a Texas BarBQ chef -- call Otto's off Westheimer in Houston for a recommendation. Oh yeah, good coffee and top rate Chocolat Coffectioner and a pastry chef.

If we preserve that good library, ...

What do you think ? What have I left out ?

Econ-Scott

Ramon said...

"In many ways radical Islam acts as a viruson societal structures. It is passed from host to host rapidely....."
You got it! If you replace "radical Islam" with "Jews" - you`ll find, that it`s literal the same comment, that was held in the NAZI propaganda film "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck"- where the Jews were compared with rats and needed to be completely erradicated. REALPUNDIT understood it well: He demanded a stronger chemo or even nuclear medicine.
I am an average german citizen and I understand it well either: This BLOG is intellectual propaganda for MASS MURDER.
I remember, what great novelist George Orwell pointed out - a short time before he died:
"Once, yes only once in my sweet short life I want to see one of those propagandists of mass murder lying there on the ground:Wit a big hole in his stomach."
Think it over
Ramon

Impchucker said...

A brilliant analogy. This explains why Islamic culture, after several centuries of philosophical, mathematical, and scientific excellence, collapsed without any external cause. The virus, by around 1200, had destroyed the available hosts.

This coheres nicely with an earlier post, which had talked about the possibility that the vaunted achievements of medieval Islamic culture were parasitic on other cultures-- something confirmed by the fact that almost all of those achievements were by people who were ethically Spaniards, Turks, Persians, central Asians, or Jews. Once the virus had exhausted the resources of those cultures, it was incapable of making any contribution on its own.

A note of optimism: Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Moors in 1492. Within a century, Francisco Sanchez, Luis de Molina, and Francisco Suarez were writing some of the most brilliant works of Scholasticism, setting the stage for Descartes. What most contemporary historians see as 1492's act of intolerance led to the rapid recovery of Spain's intellectual culture and contributed significantly to the enlightenment.

A note of pessimism: It took Spain nearly 300 years from the death of Ibn Rushd (Averroes)-- the last gasp of real intellectual achievement under Muslim rule-- nearly 500 years from the Berber invasion of 1010 that destroyed a unified government, and nearly 800 years from the initial Muslim invasion, to get to 1492.

Cindi said...

Ramon, it'g not genocide we're discussing, it's victory over the warmakers, then isolation and containment.

Scott - I like your plan but a port (shipping) is needed; landlocked is not a good idea.

Scott said...

Baron, while the bacteria or viral
aspect of Islam is apt I wonder if
the disease aspect of Islam might
not better be desribed as a cancer
with Islam as a carcinogen.

Daniel Pipes recently described a
condition he dubbed 'Sudden Jihad
Syndrome' in reference to, amongst
other incidents, the shooting of
the charity workers in Seatte. The
news media constantly regales us
with other examples. An Egyptian
pilot not known to be an extremist
or even political suddenly shouts
Allahu Ahkbar before diving his
jet into the Atlantic Ocean killing
all on board. A limo driver drives
to LAX, something he must have done
almost daily, but one day decides
to go in and start shooting.

That is what makes Islam different
than a mass psychosis or a plague.
It doesn't have a mass outbreak
into a population and most can live
with the infection without ill
effect. But not all. For some it is
carcinogenic and the exposure level
that causes a 'cancer' is variable.

Were Islam to be like a virus or
bacteria the danger would be acute.
Imagine if every cigarette smoker
were to develop lung cancer this
year! It would be like the black
death. However Islam works like a
cancer. Finding victims here and
there, killing some, while most go
one unaffected. So while a billion
Muslims inhale their carcinogen on
a daily basis only a small number
develop Sudden Jihad Syndrome at
anyone time.

Baron Bodissey said...

Scott, your point is apt. There are many useful analogies which will serve us well in this struggle.

pst314 said...

"This BLOG is intellectual propaganda for MASS MURDER."

Gee, and "progressive" Europeans call Americans simple-minded!

Ralph said...

Ramon:

"If you replace 'radical Islam' with 'Jews'" one would be replacing apples with oranges; the former is a philosophy, the latter is a people. One can argue for the end of Nazism or Soviet Communism without calling for the extinction of Germans or Russians. By failing to discriminate in this matter, your agrument neatly illustrates the Baron's point.
_