[BoI] Anti-rational meme replication strategies

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Matjaž Leonardis

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Sep 30, 2011, 5:43:46 PM9/30/11
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Do all anti-rational meme replication strategies involve some holders of the meme coercing other people who don't yet have the meme, in some way?

If yes, why?

If no, could you provide an example of a replication strategy that doesn't involve any holders of the meme coercing others as a result of having it?

--
Matjaž Leonardis

Anonymous Person

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Sep 30, 2011, 6:01:28 PM9/30/11
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No.

I take you to be referring to TCS-coercion or psychological coercion
or something like that. Memes aren't routinely spread by force or
violence.

One example meeting your criteria would be the holder tells a person
who then coerces himself.

Another would be: a meme is so subtle that neither the holder nor new
person is aware of the meme transfer at all, let alone coerced by it.
In general static memes *would* coerce you *if* you struggled, but
that doesn't mean they do coerce you. And they usually try not to let
it come to that point: better if you don't struggle.

Most (maybe all) people have no idea when or how they learned monogamy
memes, for example. It isn't done by from some memorable, unpleasant
event. Sometimes preachers put pressure on people, but they can also
spread religion by being helpful, kind, sympathetic and tolerant (at
least in many respects, which may be the only ones the convert
notices).

David Deutsch

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Sep 30, 2011, 8:32:35 PM9/30/11
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I'm sceptical that anti-rational memes can be propagated in the way just outlined. Certainly they can be propagated that way *as opinions, and as behaviours*. But the unseen and all-important anti-rational content that will get them safely to the next generation after that -- the entrenchment -- where does that come from? Is it that the idea is so entangled with the rest of one's personality that it's hard to abandon it? I don't think a meme that was hard to drop for such a reason would behave in the way anti-rational memes do. For instance, we face that sort of thing when we have to give up the idea that distant events can be simultaneous, or that there's a force of gravity etc. Some people do fail to achieve that. But in the case of anti-rational memes, it's not merely *difficult*; creativity is engaged to keep them in place, and the more one even contemplates violating them, the more *painful* it feels.

So I'm guessing the answer to Matjaž's question is yes.

-- David Deutsch

Anonymous Person

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Sep 30, 2011, 8:58:54 PM9/30/11
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Knowledge in the meme about how to create it (e.g. by reorganizing a
person's mind).

> Is it that the idea is so entangled with the rest of one's personality that it's hard to abandon it? I don't think a meme that was hard to drop for such a reason would behave in the way anti-rational memes do. For instance, we face that sort of thing when we have to give up the idea that distant events can be simultaneous, or that there's a force of gravity etc. Some people do fail to achieve that. But in the case of anti-rational memes, it's not merely *difficult*; creativity is engaged to keep them in place, and the more one even contemplates violating them, the more *painful* it feels.

Why does the process of reorganizing a mind, so something is
entrenched, have to involve the person feeling bad *at that time*?

Another possibility is a meme lies dormant, only partially set up
(i.e. not fully entrenched), and actually creates the (rest of the)
entrenchment on the fly when first questioned or criticized or opposed
(using coercion at that time, but not necessarily prior).

> So I'm guessing the answer to Matjaž's question is yes.

But what about, as I said, the possibility that they coerce
themselves? So, surely the answer must be "no", independent of whether
memes can set themselves up quietly.

Abraham Lewis

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Oct 6, 2011, 3:17:54 AM10/6/11
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On Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 6:28 AM, Anonymous Person <unattrib...@gmail.com> wrote:
But what about, as I said, the possibility that they coerce
themselves?

What does it mean for someone to coerce himself?

David Deutsch

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Oct 6, 2011, 3:41:57 AM10/6/11
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In short, it is to act in a particular way while also experiencing an impulse to act in a different way.

This is expressed in the common phrase "I forced myself...". For example, "I was bored and disgusted by the Dean's remarks, but I forced myself to smile and respond politely."

Unfortunately, everyday language is tuned to conceal the difference between coerced and uncoerced states of mind. For example, the phrase "I forced myself" can also, albeit rarely, refer to an uncoerced state, for instance: "During the last minute of the race my legs felt as though they were on fire but I forced myself to persevere and succeeded in breaking the record."

The difference is that in the first case it is two strands of the speaker's personality that were fighting for control, whereas in the second the speaker had only a single impulse.

In both cases, the statements also allow the opposite interpretation, but only if the context contradicts the plain meanings I have described.

In addition to the equivocations embodied in language, there are also explicit, prevailing theories claiming that *all* human choices involve mental conflict of the kind I call coercive. But these theories are all of the type that I criticise as false and irrational in Chapter 13.

-- David Deutsch

Lulie Tanett

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Oct 7, 2011, 5:35:13 AM10/7/11
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What does 'reorganising a person's mind' mean? What does it consist of?

>> Is it that the idea is so entangled with the rest of one's personality that it's hard to abandon it? I don't think a meme that was hard to drop for such a reason would behave in the way anti-rational memes do. For instance, we face that sort of thing when we have to give up the idea that distant events can be simultaneous, or that there's a force of gravity etc. Some people do fail to achieve that. But in the case of anti-rational memes, it's not merely *difficult*; creativity is engaged to keep them in place, and the more one even contemplates violating them, the more *painful* it feels.
>
> Why does the process of reorganizing a mind, so something is
> entrenched, have to involve the person feeling bad *at that time*?
>
> Another possibility is a meme lies dormant, only partially set up
> (i.e. not fully entrenched), and actually creates the (rest of the)
> entrenchment on the fly when first questioned or criticized or opposed
> (using coercion at that time, but not necessarily prior).

Could you give an example of how it'd coerce you later?

>> So I'm guessing the answer to Matjaž's question is yes.
>
> But what about, as I said, the possibility that they coerce
> themselves? So, surely the answer must be "no", independent of whether
> memes can set themselves up quietly.

Why do they chose to coerce themselves in the first place? Or how does that come about? (If not from for prior coercion by someone else. I guess this will become clearer with the answer of the 'reorganising' thing.)

--
Lulie Tanett

Anonymous Person

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Oct 7, 2011, 4:41:24 PM10/7/11
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Any or all of the following: adding some new ideas, removing some old
ideas, changing some ideas, changing some connections between ideas,
and changing some organization structure of how one lays out his ideas
in his mind.


>>> Is it that the idea is so entangled with the rest of one's personality that it's hard to abandon it? I don't think a meme that was hard to drop for such a reason would behave in the way anti-rational memes do. For instance, we face that sort of thing when we have to give up the idea that distant events can be simultaneous, or that there's a force of gravity etc. Some people do fail to achieve that. But in the case of anti-rational memes, it's not merely *difficult*; creativity is engaged to keep them in place, and the more one even contemplates violating them, the more *painful* it feels.
>>
>> Why does the process of reorganizing a mind, so something is
>> entrenched, have to involve the person feeling bad *at that time*?
>>
>> Another possibility is a meme lies dormant, only partially set up
>> (i.e. not fully entrenched), and actually creates the (rest of the)
>> entrenchment on the fly when first questioned or criticized or opposed
>> (using coercion at that time, but not necessarily prior).
>
> Could you give an example of how it'd coerce you later?

Consider a meme about marriage. It may use loneliness as part of its
enforcement mechanism. Do what it wants or feel bad (lonely).

When this pain happens, it may help entrench the meme.

But this may not happen for many years after one gets the meme. People
commonly don't start feeling strongly romatically lonely -- wondering
if they'll ever find a spouse and be able to have a family, and if
anyone will ever want them, and thinking they are a loser who is all
alone, and so on -- until they are nearing age 30.

So the meme is ready to cause coercion if a situation comes up, but
that situation may not come up for years, if ever (one might marry at
age 20 and remain married for life).

I don't know if it's true or not, but it's conceivable that people who
haven't experienced the pain of severe romantic loneliness are
generally more rationally and open minded about romance, and that
those who have gone through this kind of loneliness have a more
entrenched meme that's harder to change.


>>> So I'm guessing the answer to Matjaž's question is yes.
>>
>> But what about, as I said, the possibility that they coerce
>> themselves? So, surely the answer must be "no", independent of whether
>> memes can set themselves up quietly.
>
> Why do they chose to coerce themselves in the first place?

No, not choose. What anti-rational memes are evolved to do is control
people -- cause unchosen behaviors.

What BoI says more specifically is that anti-rational memes disable
creativity to prevent criticism and processes that could change or
replace it. It doesn't compete against rival ideas, or even variations
of itself, but suppresses them.

So in that context, there's no choice to be made. One has one idea and
one idea only, about this issue.

> Or how does that come about? (If not from for prior coercion by someone else. I guess this will become clearer with the answer of the 'reorganising' thing.)

We don't know the exact mechanisms by which anti-rational memes do
this. In other words, we don't know how to do it to people ourselves.
Anti-rational memes have highly evolved knowledge.

It's the same way that, in the past, people could look at an eye and
know it had a lot of highly advanced knowledge in it, but not
understand how it works. You can tell it has knowledge because of how
effective it is. But that doesn't reveal its mechanisms.

Erin Minter

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Dec 17, 2014, 7:53:50 PM12/17/14
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On Sep 30, 2011, at 8:58 PM, Anonymous Person <unattrib...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM, David Deutsch <david....@qubit.org> wrote:
>> On 30 Sep 2011, at 11:01pm, Anonymous Person wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM, Matjaž Leonardis
>>> <sidranoe...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Do all anti-rational meme replication strategies involve some holders of the
>>>> meme coercing other people who don't yet have the meme, in some way?
>>>> If yes, why?
>>>> If no, could you provide an example of a replication strategy that doesn't
>>>> involve any holders of the meme coercing others as a result of having it?
>>>
>>> No.
>>>
>>> I take you to be referring to TCS-coercion or psychological coercion
>>> or something like that. Memes aren't routinely spread by force or
>>> violence.
>>>
>>> One example meeting your criteria would be the holder tells a person
>>> who then coerces himself.
>>>
>>> Another would be: a meme is so subtle that neither the holder nor new
>>> person is aware of the meme transfer at all, let alone coerced by it.
>>> In general static memes *would* coerce you *if* you struggled, but
>>> that doesn't mean they do coerce you. And they usually try not to let
>>> it come to that point: better if you don't struggle.

ya, if someone is sufficiently poor at critical thinking, it seems like they could adopt a static meme without actually being coerced at the time of adopting it.

>>> Most (maybe all) people have no idea when or how they learned monogamy
>>> memes, for example. It isn't done by from some memorable, unpleasant
>>> event. Sometimes preachers put pressure on people, but they can also
>>> spread religion by being helpful, kind, sympathetic and tolerant (at
>>> least in many respects, which may be the only ones the convert
>>> notices).

I wonder if the “coercing other ppl to lead to meme adoption” cases happen a lot in childhood (maybe adulthood too, but a greater % with kids / coercive parenting before the kid's ability to think critically gets so damaged). Before critical thinking gets so hindered, coercion might be more necessary.

Another thought I had is regarding the types of memes which are transferred possibly via a coercive process when kids are young.

Could these memes lead to consequences such as: the adoptees end up relying on and worrying about what other ppl think (look good in the eyes of authority / avoid punishment), being afraid to make mistakes, hiding from criticism, not taking responsibility, etc.

They are like some of the really bad ones which can do a good job of setting ppl up with hindered critical thinking and a way to easily adopt more static memes later on (like monogamy).

do some of those early ones “set the stage” in a way?

Or in addition to this, it could be that by parenting irrationally, critical thinking also gets damaged without any meme transfer. Kids are punished for thinking critically and coming to different conclusions than their parents. Even if there isn’t a meme transfer, the damage to critical thinking can make the kid more susceptible to future static meme adoption.

>> I'm sceptical that anti-rational memes can be propagated in the way just outlined. Certainly they can be propagated that way *as opinions, and as behaviours*. But the unseen and all-important anti-rational content that will get them safely to the next generation after that -- the entrenchment -- where does that come from?
>
> Knowledge in the meme about how to create it (e.g. by reorganizing a
> person's mind).
>
>> Is it that the idea is so entangled with the rest of one's personality that it's hard to abandon it? I don't think a meme that was hard to drop for such a reason would behave in the way anti-rational memes do. For instance, we face that sort of thing when we have to give up the idea that distant events can be simultaneous, or that there's a force of gravity etc. Some people do fail to achieve that. But in the case of anti-rational memes, it's not merely *difficult*; creativity is engaged to keep them in place, and the more one even contemplates violating them, the more *painful* it feels.
>
> Why does the process of reorganizing a mind, so something is
> entrenched, have to involve the person feeling bad *at that time*?
>
> Another possibility is a meme lies dormant, only partially set up
> (i.e. not fully entrenched), and actually creates the (rest of the)
> entrenchment on the fly when first questioned or criticized or opposed
> (using coercion at that time, but not necessarily prior).

So could it be the case that TCS-coercion is involved with the adoption of the meme (in some cases), during the holding of the meme (if a person doesn’t enact it when the meme “wants” to be enacted or if the meme is opposed in any way), and then what about during the process of trying to rid oneself of the meme?

Once that meme is entrenched, is coercion inevitable? Regardless of whether the person is aware of the meme and working to eradicate it?

>> So I'm guessing the answer to Matjaž's question is yes.
>
> But what about, as I said, the possibility that they coerce
> themselves? So, surely the answer must be "no", independent of whether
> memes can set themselves up quietly.

left for context

Erin


Erin Minter

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Feb 15, 2015, 1:06:17 PM2/15/15
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On Feb 15, 2015, at 4:28 AM, 'anonymous FI' anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
> static memes don't offer some great persuasive argument. they spread
> because they aren't criticized, so people don't see the flaws/problems
> with them. (by definition – if it worked a different way it'd be a
> different type of meme). so how/why would someone accept a static meme?
>
> - they don't look for great persuasive arguments, don't care about that
> - they don't think critically, don't look for flaws/problems
> - they try to criticize and question it, but that's suppressed (e.g. by
> parent or teacher coercion)
>
> there's limited ways that make sense for a static meme to be accepted by
> someone. most other stuff you might think of, e.g. they accept what
> (e.g. parental) authority tells them, would be on the above list.
> accepting the idea on authority would be not thinking critically or
> looking for great persuasive arguments in that case. and there could be
> coercion too, e.g. if person didn't want to obey (cuz they'd like to
> think for themselves) or disobey (cuz e.g. they don't want punishment
> and various more subtle consequences).

When thinking about your list above, I think about how the 3rd one (parental / teacher coercion) can lead to 1 and 2.

And how if a child isn’t doing 1 and 2 (IOW they *are* looking to only accept great persuasive args or they *are* thinking critically looking for flaws), then parents and teachers turn to the 3rd one. Which as I stated above, then can lead to 1 and 2.

its like a nasty process with the end goal of kid being at 1 and 2. and parent using 3 (coercion) whenever needed to reach that goal.

and the parent is using 3 (coercion) because the parent’s memes have knowledge of this process and the best way to get the kid to be at 1 and 2 (not thinking critically), which helps the meme spread.

Erin

Ethan Heims

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Mar 12, 2015, 5:58:08 PM3/12/15
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I'm pretty sure that parochial concerns, like how you are viewed by your peers, play a rather large part.

I was raised by a Catholic family, who, like most Catholics, indoctrinated me from birth- they even sent me to a Christian preschool.  However, due to my Aspergers, and not caring what others think, I was able to shake off this meme- for the wrong reason (anger) at first, then the more rational, less parochial reason that it was a bad explanation.  I believe that in order to dislodge such a meme, there must be a part of you that still listens to logic- and I researched science from the age of 5- and you must be able to resist the meme's ability to make you feel shame for "betraying" others who hold the meme.  The fact that people with Aspergers are more likely to be atheist must say something about anti-rational memes.  

Rami Rustom

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Mar 12, 2015, 6:28:56 PM3/12/15
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I'm pretty sure that parochial concerns, like how you are viewed by your peers, play a rather large part.

I'm not exactly clear what you're replying to, so I'm leaving all of the above as context. 

I have something to say anyway. 

If you have concerns about how other people will view you, that's a result of ideas in your mind. 

People with these ideas learned them from their parents and society. So those ideas are memes. 

And if those ideas prevent those people from thinking rationally about a problem, then those memes are antirational memes. 



I was raised by a Catholic family, who, like most Catholics, indoctrinated me from birth- they even sent me to a Christian preschool.  

They tried to "indoctrinate" you, but that's literally impossible to do. Our minds don't work that way. 


However, due to my Aspergers,

There's no aspergers. That's a myth. See _The Myth of Mental Illness_ by Szazs. Or check out Elliot Temples iPad app called Psychiatry.  


and not caring what others think, I was able to shake off this meme- for the wrong reason (anger) at first,

Anger wasn't a reason. It's something you did in response to people that were forcing you to do things you didn't want to do. They were acting against your will. 

I expect that they got angry with you and you learned to reply on kind as a defense mechanism. 

I don't blame you. 

But you're still responsible for that. If you get angry and hurt someone, like your child, that's 100% your fault. 

You can fix your anger. See Elliot's essay called Emotions. 


(Left the rest for context)

then the more rational, less parochial reason that it was a bad explanation.  I believe that in order to dislodge such a meme, there must be a part of you that still listens to logic- and I researched science from the age of 5- and you must be able to resist the meme's ability to make you feel shame for "betraying" others who hold the meme.  The fact that people with Aspergers are more likely to be atheist must say something about anti-rational memes.  

Rami

Elliot Temple

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Mar 12, 2015, 7:16:25 PM3/12/15
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i agree

> I was raised by a Catholic family, who, like most Catholics, indoctrinated me from birth- they even sent me to a Christian preschool. However, due to my Aspergers, and not caring what others think,

hi. Asperger’s is a fake disease. it’s a lie.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030620082122/http://www.tcs.ac/Articles/DDAspidistraSyndrome.html

http://www.szasz.com/manifesto.html


i’m not saying you’re identical to everyone else.

caring what others think less is not a disease! it’s a (good) philosophy.

being willing to stand up to authority, and disagree with what your parents/teachers/church tell you, is not a disease. it’s wisdom that some authorities don’t appreciate, so they call it a mental disease.


> I was able to shake off this meme- for the wrong reason (anger) at first, then the more rational, less parochial reason that it was a bad explanation.

that’s ok, everyone has to start somewhere. the important thing is whether you are willing to think over criticism and sometimes make changes. as long as mistakes can get fixed, and there are paths forward to infinity, then you’re rational. (http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward)

it’s really hard to get started at rational thinking. most people listen to authority their whole lives and are closed-minded. even most of the people who claim they are rational.

> I believe that in order to dislodge such a meme, there must be a part of you that still listens to logic- and I researched science from the age of 5-

that’s cool. i played chess from age 4 or 5. that requires logic too.

> and you must be able to resist the meme's ability to make you feel shame for "betraying" others who hold the meme. The fact that people with Aspergers are more likely to be atheist must say something about anti-rational memes.

be careful. lots of atheists aren’t very rational either. for example, many are very irrationally committed to socialism and environmentalism.

i’m glad you found us. i think this community is the most rational place.

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com
www.curi.us



Elliot Temple

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Mar 12, 2015, 7:44:17 PM3/12/15
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On Mar 12, 2015, at 3:28 PM, Rami Rustom <rom...@gmail.com> wrote:

> They tried to "indoctrinate" you, but that's literally impossible to do. Our minds don't work that way.

what do you mean indoctrination is impossible?

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com
www.curi.us



Rami Rustom

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Mar 13, 2015, 7:55:43 PM3/13/15
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On Mar 12, 2015, at 6:44 PM, Elliot Temple cu...@curi.us [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> On Mar 12, 2015, at 3:28 PM, Rami Rustom <rom...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> They tried to "indoctrinate" you, but that's literally impossible to do. Our minds don't work that way.
>
> what do you mean indoctrination is impossible?

let me check the meaning of indoctrination. Checking merriam Webster :

: to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs

I'm interpreting that to mean what is meant by brain washing. Consistent with the bucket theory of the mind.

The bucket theory of mind says that people can inject knowledge into other people’s minds, which is false.

Am I wrong that indoctrination means that?


Ok now I’ll look at the apple dictionary definition:

: teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically: broadcasting was a vehicle for indoctrinating the masses.

Now I have another interpretation. Indoctrination means teaching something while trying to get the learner to not critically question the stuff being taught.

If that’s right, then my reply to Ethan was wrong. I was treating it like it can only be indoctrination if it’s literally possible to make a person avoid critically questioning ideas that the teacher presents to the student.

Rami

Elliot Temple

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Mar 13, 2015, 9:04:38 PM3/13/15
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wait, why are you looking it up?

are you saying that at the time you wrote your previous post, you used the word “indoctrination” without knowing what you meant by it? and now you’re trying to make up a meaning later?

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com
www.curi.us



Rami Rustom

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Mar 13, 2015, 10:39:33 PM3/13/15
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no. why do you think that? because i checked the dictionary after being asked what i meant? why do you think that that’s incompatible with having a meaning in mind when i used the word “indoctrination”?

Rami
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