Mimesis is Logically Implicit in Game Theory; &c.

The following is a record of a brainstorm triggered by a recent post of my Orthospherean colleague and friend, Thomas Bertonneau. Because it is as yet no more than a brainstorm, I here report it as I first recorded it, and as it precipitated upon me from the Realm of the Forms – namely, as a series of impacts, occurrences more or less related:

In any population of evolving strategies for winning games (of any sort, no matter the rules (bearing in mind that the rules of such games are themselves subject to evolution)) with each other, imitation of strategies that win – or that have lately appeared to win under cogent criteria of local near term winning (bearing in mind that these criteria, too, are subject to evolution) – is a requirement of survival. Survival is the sine qua non of all other values; for, one must first be, in order then to realize any other value whatever; and so, no value is effectually valuable – is, i.e., valuable in actual practice – except insofar as it enables survival, which is the precondition of any other value.

If my group learns language, yours must do so too in order to survive against us. So for all other acts. If I attack you, you must attack back harder, or die. So human mimesis is a survival strategy for the individual within the group, and for the group as against other groups. Humans naturally imitate each other because that’s the only way to stay competitive, and so to survive.

Mimesis is evident in all the social animals. When one cow spooks, the whole herd reacts. When one bird sings of the presence of a predator, the others take up the call. When one pack howls, the others respond, so that everyone is aware that the boundaries of local pack territories are enforced.

Mimesis is also just another way of characterizing the human biological advantage over the other animals, who are not rational and conceptual as we are: namely, that we are extraordinarily able to learn from each other. Other animals do this, too, of course. But humans do it better, by several degrees of magnitude – so much so that, with us, no direct observation of others is needed in order for us to learn of and imitate them.

Status contests, virtue signaling, keeping up with the Joneses, fashion, vendetta, feud, the duello, war – and, crucially, perhaps fundamentally, reproductive competition, thus sexual selection – all are mimetic, and all are relentlessly driven by the urgent necessity of taking every advantage in the struggle for survival. And, all drive technical development – taking the category of technics as subsuming all acts and subjects of acts that have practical social consequences (i.e., almost all things, whatever).

Society is essentially – is predominantly, wherever familiarity has failed – an arms race.

It’s a positive feedback cycle that cannot end and allow for a period of rest and recuperation except via some violent catharsis that discovers a winner of the race, and vitiates or destroys a loser.

War is the apotheosis of scapegoating, and of all contest. It discharges and for a time ends the arms race.

Scapegoating forestalls civil war. This it can do because it is a foretaste and anticipation of civil war. Scapegoating is to civil war as minor temblors along a fault are to a titanic earthquake.

The feudal subsidiaritan social order of the Middle Ages – the triumph of the Familiar Society – was the afactional, prepolitical apogee of the Christian ethos that rejected and transcended the social arms race of (what boiled down to) enemies in favor of a (never perfectly) happy cooperation of familiars and friends.

“Turn the other cheek” stops the positive feedback cycle of the mimetic arms race that would otherwise end with lethal violence: with feud unto death, at enormous social cost, and indeed great harm to the prospects of the group, vis-à-vis its local competitors. So Christian forbearance, charity and compassion opens room for feodality; for brotherly loyalty, true vassalage: servility ennobled.

The disaster of utter destruction of their entire cult and culture that befell Judah at the Bar Kochba revolt was due to the failure of the Judeans to heed the advice of Jesus: “turn the other cheek.” The Christian Essenes were not destroyed in that war. They had decamped to Pella before the crisis arrived. Over the subsequent centuries, they turned the other cheek to Rome, again and again and again; they ended by vanquishing Rome, and turning her mundane power to the purposes of the Church.

To turn the other cheek – properly so – is (at least potentially) to begin to turn the power of the other to one’s own purposes. It is at the least to short circuit the positive feedback cycle of violent mimesis.

Provided that one’s own purposes are those of Truth, there can be no problem, even in one’s own proximal destruction; for, Truth is at once necessary, eternal, and utterly invincible, so that one’s own particular defeat in its purposes cannot but eventuate in a general victory, that wholly redeems its costs.

And, then, NB: to redeem the costs of a victory is to make those who bore them whole, and then more than whole. Mutatis mutandis, martyry is the utmost hedonic victory.

Turning the other cheek does not entail a failure to fight, or to defend one’s own. It rather involves something like Christian aikido: love your enemy by letting him feel the effects of the errors of his errant ways. Let him suffer his own projections upon you. Or something like that. You didn’t do it to him, so he has no real reason to blame you for what happened to him; rather, he did it to himself, and you were at most only the innocent occasion of his sufferance of his own intrinsic errors. He cannot sanely blame you, any more than he would blame a stone he had stumbled over.

He might nevertheless blame you, of course. That would not render you blameworthy, though, and should nowise discourage you. Just keep responding in love, letting his errors redound, without attaching at all to you. If eternity is real – as it must be – you’ll be OK, in the end, no matter what, so long as you do right by God. So, in the long run, charity is without cost to you.

21 thoughts on “Mimesis is Logically Implicit in Game Theory; &c.

  1. Pingback: Mimesis is Logically Implicit in Game Theory; &c. | Reaction Times

  2. Interesting analysis. It doesn’t account for an Alexander, Hannibal, Subodai or Napoleon. But it does explain all those staff colleges where their campaigns are studied.

      • Can Christian faith be conceived as an effective innovation; or does it’s requirement of mastering yoking human nature exempt it from that concept and allow different biases to affect behavior?

      • Christianity is indeed an effective innovation. Any effective innovation is going to change the way people act, at least at the margin. Christian praxis offers the possibility of repairing human nature, or at least beginning to do so. It does not so much yoke our nature as perfect it; Christianity is the apotheosis of that conceptual – i.e., spiritual – transcendence that is the peculiar and characteristic talent of the human being.

      • Is Christianity then in a sort of mimetic rivalry with other faiths? As an effective innovation, it hasn’t been universally adopted as such. People react very differently to faith ideas than to political.

        I guess instead, it’s possible other faiths are in a mimetic rivalry with Christianity, because Christianity doesn’t compete, per se. the Pope doesn’t change Christianity in response to an idea found in Islam; Christians don’t try to conform their religion to the beliefs of a new group of people they hope to convert. People conform themselves to Christianity. I suppose they do the same with other faiths, so that is why the mimetic rivalry, if it can be described as such, has not spiraled out of control.

      • Sadly, Francis seems to be trying to change Christianity to conform it with the religion of modernism.

        Christianity is in *mimetic* rivalry with other faiths only mediately, and in virtue of the fact that cults form cultures, which are the actual rivals. Christian culture works better, so such societies tend to prevail over their competitors, ceteris paribus.

        Christianity is however in direct *memetic* rivalry with other faiths; in every mind, and so in every society of minds, the worship of Christ is in direct competition with the worship of all other things.

  3. Game theory is a way of describing human nature, in a way. And society is a way of understanding the human nature of groups. Games are not games if they are not won, so logically it makes sense that mimetic rivalry must spiral out of control until one dominates the other, be it in personal rivalry or a great war.

    Christianity rejects the game. A pithy summary of your essay would be, “The only winning move is not to play”. Why spend time trying to undermine your rivals, when both you and your rival can do more to follow Christ. If everyone followed Christ, there would be no need for rivalry because, when it comes to the Creator of the Universe there is literally nothing more important.

    All I know about General Patton is from the movie, and there is a line that may or may not have been said by the actual General: He says, “Compared to War, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.” A counterpoint to that, would be: Compared to God, all human endeavor of any kind shrinks to insignificance.

    (Not to say human endeavor is inherently insignificant; but rather, why worry about the mote in your neighbors eye when the beam in yours is inhibiting your communion with God?)

    • You can’t stop playing and continue to live socially. But you can choose how to play, and your manner of play can affect the play of others, even to the extent of changing the rules of local play either for better or for worse (games too evolve). The cycle of mimetic violence is a defect/defect equilibrium – actually, a defective equilibrium, in that, as a positive feedback cycle, it seeks disequilibrium: it tends away from all homeostatic strange attractors (other than death). So is it a negative sum game. It destroys social value.

      There are losers of the mimetic cycle of violence that resolves and settles down via iterated sacrifices: the scapegoats. But there are no winners.

      Turn the other cheek is designed to forestall or slow the cycle of violence, and initiate play of a different sort of game: the positive sum game of profective equilibrium, that seeks social peace – justice, that is to say – and that can make every honest player a winner.

      • “…make every honest player a winner.”
        Honest players?
        How utterly unlike our own dear species…which is the real point of Christianity. It is an attempt to save as many as possible from the wreck of the game.

      • Yeah. A single defection can cripple the profective equilibrium for everyone. Then the race to the bottom begins. To follow Christ is to step out of the stampede; or, at least, to try.

  4. Kristor: I am grateful for your working out of implications in my prose that I failed to see. Thank you. Your insights prompt me to add a few words. —

    Mimesis belongs to fallenness: It is the hard-wired condition that, prior to the Good Word, places its terrible limitation on human behavior; it is the equivalent of a commanding unconscious that forces people to fixate on the other in jealousy and rivalry. (Cain murders Abel.) The Tenth Commandment, as Girard points out in the first chapter of I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, is a brilliant item of revealed (not self-discovered) anthropology. Covetousness, which the Tenth Commandment enjoins, strikes modern readers as an exotic term, but it only means what the more ordinary word “desire” means. We desire, finally, the being that strikes us as unfairly monopolized by the rival-model. Turning the other cheek has a relation therefore to askesis, by which we yield up our desire through caritas and agape.

    Scapegoating arises as the immanent, not transcendent, solution to the spreading violence in the community. Its effectiveness depends on its imperceptible operation. The bringing-to-light of the scapegoat mechanism could only come from outside human immanence. This luminous breaking-in puts itself on view in the words and the common fate of the Hebrew prophets and, definitively, in the Cross.

    • Scapegoating arises as the immanent, not transcendent, solution to the spreading violence in the community.

      Exactly. It is the response to the amplification of violence by the cycle of mimetic intensification that arises from within that cycle, and as its exemplification and terminus ad quem.

      The only way out of such a cycle altogether is by transcending it; by doing something completely different, a radical innovation from without the game of the cycle, that the game of the cycle cannot comprehend, and that stymies all the other players of the old, violent game; so that some of them, and gradually more and more of them, lay down their weapons and begin to play a new game.

      And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

      A blessed, deep sweet quiet Advent to you, Tom.

  5. I never really managed to understand why Girard is so popular in Christian circles, except that his theory of mimetic competition being resolved by sacrificing scapegoats also has a special role for Christ as an ultimate sacrifice and ultimate resolver – but I am not even sure it is well compatible with mainstream theology. Anyway. My point:

    When Girard says we like a piece of art because other people like it, and we imitate that, the model is seriously incomplete. We like that not because any random chum likes it, but because people who are considered to have a good taste like it, and we would to like to either seem or feel or both to be a person of good taste. Good taste is one of the features of high social status, whatever people of high social status like will be considered good taste. (Before you bristle, I am not claiming that aesthetics cannot be objectively decided, just claim whatever objectively good aesthetics is has little to do with what what changing elite fashions consider good taste.) So it is a status bid.

    The point is, we imitate upward, not downward. (When do imitate downward, like middle-class white kids listening to rap, it usually means the real status hierarchy is not the official one.)

    So Girardian theory 1) misses the whole goal of it 2) focuses on one method of status competition among multiple ones. Imitating upward is one. For example, a far more important because far more dangerous and harmful kind of status competition is smearing other people with various accusations and condemnations. Mimesis is an important tool but I don’t see why you focus so strongly on it. Yes, if A attacks B, B has to attack A back. But defensive and offensive strategies differ and besides it is better not to imitate your opponent’s tactics and thus be easily predictable, but try to surprise him.

    The two classical sociobiological categories of status are dominance and prestige. Mimesis plays a big role in the prestige kind. Dominance is fairly straightforward power, the dominant one gives an order, others obey or suffer consequences. Prestige is tricky. The basic idea of prestige is someone having a useful skill so others want to learn it by imitation. Mimesis. But the funny part is that imitation is not really selective enough. People very often not only imitate the exercise of the skill itself, but become carbon copies of their idols, imitating his haircut, clothing, way of speaking, hobbies… I don’t know why, but they do this. This, being one who is imitated in mostly everything, not just in this or that, is the essence of prestige, prestige-status. Thus, high prestige people are not kings, but are kingmakers. They can generate support for any cause by simply supporting it and other people will imitate that. This is why people who primary skill is putting balls through hoops or looking pretty on camera endorse political candidates and policies they hardly know about, it actually generates some support for them. This indirect kind of power, the ability to make people do things not by ordering them to but by doing it and they will imitate it, is where mimesis really matters.

    But I think somehow Girardians want to put mimesis in everything and IMHO overestimating its importance.

    • Girard is interesting to Christian thinkers because Christianity is self-consciously the apotheosis, fulfillment and palmary, archetypal, indeed primordial instance of the sacrificial cults common to human society – and, thus, their transcendence. We struggle to understand the logic of the Atonement on the Cross. We struggle to understand why the sacrifice of Jesus was needed in order for the Atonement to work. And to do that we have to understand why sacrifice was supposed to work in the first place. We are confident that the sacrifice of Jesus was efficacious. We are puzzled about why and how it was efficacious. Girard furnishes one approach to understanding that puzzle.

      I suspect that there are others, because it seems to me that Girard’s explanation of sacrifice addresses only one aspect of it: the sociological. He doesn’t (so far as I know (I’m no scholar of Girard)), for example, unfold the moral, soteriological, or metaphysical aspects of sacrifice.

      I can’t see how Girard’s hypothesis is in conflict with the doctrines of the Church. That sacrifice has sociological aspects, and that it first appeared in a social animal, in no way vitiates the soteriological, metaphysical and moral dogma of the Atonement.

      Mimesis is indeed generally upward. This was the gist of the post: we imitate what we apprehend to be advantageous. And there is a group momentum to it, which makes tremendous sense. If the rest of the flock is jinking left, then even though I myself can’t see the reason for it, the unanimous behavior of my fellows indicates that the probability that there is a doggone good reason to jink left right now is extremely high; so I jink left, too.

      Then too there is a bit of magical thinking involved. We see this with people who imitate the garb, style, and deportment of their entertainment idols. And this tactic too makes a lot of sense. Joe has succeeded. If I want to succeed, I should act like Joe, so that I don’t overlook any of the advantageous behavioral policies that made him successful.

      Also, of course, dressing like your idol helps you identify other like-minded people. It can help you form a group of friends and allies, who are more likely to come to your aid and comfort than those who hate your sort of music (taking “music” in the broadest possible sense, as any sort of behavior informed by the muses).

      Prestige status seeking is likewise a way of ascertaining who is in the group, and their relative degrees of inclusion. There is always a coolest kid, then a ring of kids around him who are almost as cool as he is, then a ring of pretty cool kids, and then you start to get into the dorks. Or wogs, as the English called Continentals (Americans, Canadians and Australians are not wogs; they are in the “rather ridiculous but sort of cool” circle).

      There are Scotsmen, and then there are the True Scotsmen. And then, there are Highlanders.

      Prestige status competition then, mediated by mimesis, helps members of a group understand their … well, their status as group members. If you are comfortable with the security of your status – not at all afraid you’ll be ostracized or expaled into the wilderness – then you can afford to relax. You can be cool. If you are not so comfortable with your status, you have to signal your coolness (which of course is not so cool as relaxed coolness). You must signal your virtue by praying or fasting ostentatiously, or by supporting environmentalism on Facebook, or the like. It’s an important thing to do, because if anyone who is pretty cool – or cooler than you are, anyway – notices or suspects that you are uncool, well then you are liable to be shunned, mocked, derided.

      In the limit, you are liable to be flayed with sharp bits of broken pottery and thrown into the outer darkness to die. Or just killed.

      That last is not an exaggeration. People are terrified of being identified as uncool – as being unlike the in group in any way – because it is the uncool people who are singled out for ostracism, banishment, even ritual sacrifice.

      The banishment or murder of the uncool one, too, makes sense. A group that tightly coheres and is of one mind is more likely to be able to coordinate its activities properly, and thus is more likely to survive. So you really do want to get rid of people who are not totally with the program. You want to get rid of oddballs, nonconformists, rebels, eccentrics, and so forth.

      All that said, you are of course correct that mimesis can’t explain everything about society. Indeed, it seems to me that it has a hard time explaining everything even about sacrifice. For example, many sacrificial cults lay enormous stress on the notion that the sacrificial victim must be immaculate, pure and healthy, sinless, innocent; or on the notion that the victim must be supremely precious, as the first fruits, the first born male, the child of the King, the King himself, and so forth; or on the notion that at his consecration, the victim has already become an angel, or even an avatar, of the god to whom he has been dedicated; or on the notion that the sacrifice is ruined if the victim has not consented to his own immolation – or, what is far more horribly ruinous to the rite, if he protests it and struggles to resist it. Christianity, especially, emphasizes these aspects of the Passion. I have a hard time understanding how the hypothesis of the scapegoat apposes them.

      I suppose I would say that mimesis is necessary but not sufficient to a comprehensive understanding of society.

      • Great comment, Kristor!

        I know that Zippy (RIP) addressed the issue of the scapegoat mechanism being too narrow or too simplistic an explanation of the way society works on at least a few occasions. And my personal experiences pretty closely align with Zippy’s thesis involving what he called the “Low Man.” Some of us really do live radically different sorts of lives in ways that are deemed exceptionally important to the cool kids of the common herd. As such, we draw a lot negative attention to ourselves, try as we may (and do) to avoid it. Our thoughts and views (and experiences) are as well radically different, and that being the case we really truly do throw up all sorts of obstacles and roadblocks into the paths of those who seeking the path of least resistance. And as such, we must be found out and eliminated. Zippy explains it well enough, here:

        https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/dont-blame-the-low-man-on-the-scapegoat/#comments

      • Excellent, Terry, thanks for the link. Zippy, God bless the man, wrote:

        A scapegoat is an innocent victim who absorbs the blame for things being the way they are, even though the scapegoat is not in fact the reason for the way things are.

        The Low Man, in contrast, is a person or group of people who in fact do interfere with a particular faction of liberalism’s understanding of how things ought to be, and thus must be absorbed or destroyed. Unborn children in fact do interfere with the emancipated enfranchised feminist life plan, etc.

        The concept of scapegoating is a popular explanatory trope in tradition-leaning blogs and publications, but it seems to me that it most often obscures the underlying reality rather than illuminating it. The perception that SJW tranny freaks have of traditionalists standing in the way of their vision of the world is accurate. They are absolutely correct that metaphysical realists and the reality in which we believe obstruct their vision of a free and equal new man, self created through reason and will, occupying a neutral and tolerant public square emancipated politically from the conflicts of tradition, nature, religion, class, etc.

        SJW’s are not scapegoating metaphysical realists and the reality in which we believe. Those things in fact do stand in the way of their incoherent modernist hopes and dreams.

        I’m going to get all Thomistic here, and say that Zippy is absolutely right in one way, and not quite right in quite another.

        I’m sure Zippy would approve of my doing so, even as he disagreed with me.

        To begin, a quibble with his definition: the scapegoat is not *necessarily* innocent. Oedipus, who after Christ is the preeminent instance of the scapegoat, was *not innocent* of the crimes he was found to have committed – as he himself agreed.

        To take another example, a favorite of the good professor Bertonneau: the beggar at the town gates whom Apollonius of Tyana convinced the Ephesians was the source of the diseases afflicting them – and whom they therefore straightaway stoned, to salubrious effect upon their public health – may in point of epidemiological fact have been an important vector of disease (that would not of course render his summary execution at the hands of a deranged mob Just under the Justice of Heaven).

        Some scapegoats are innocent, to be sure. The goat dedicated to Azazel on Yom Kippur, who was scaped out into the Judean desert to fall into a deep pit – the one where Azazel was bound – was certainly innocent of any actual crime. He was a goat, for Heaven’s sake. He could not possibly have borne any guilt for the sin of Sam the baker against his wife Judith, or hers against his.

        But not all scapegoats are innocent. Some are. Some are not.

        It *doesn’t matter.*

        Here’s the thing: the factual innocence of a scapegoat is not salient to the efficacy of the rite. The factors of that ritual efficacy lie all within the minds – generally, the unconscious minds – of everyone other than the poor scapegoat himself.

        Excursus: in like manner, the efficacy of the Eucharist for the soteriological fortunes of the communicant depends crucially upon the motion of his own will to honest unspotted participation in the rite. The redemption offered in the rite is real.

        But, no faith in the reality of that redemption, then no redemption. Spotted faith, spotted redemption.

        That is all.

        God *can’t* contravene your will so as to perfect you, other than by deleting you altogether. For, you are by definition a free creature. So, because he loves you, he won’t delete you.

        Work out the salvation that is yours to take if you would have it, then, in fear and trembling.

        Take it, or leave it. Decide right now. Then, decide again. Then, decide again. Such is the spiritual life.

        So then, yes: Zippy’s Low Man is in fact, by virtue of his mere existence, a radical moral challenge and rebuke to the Progressive Utopian New Man, and thus to the Progressive Utopian herself. Under the warped moral calculus of the SJW, the Low Man is not without true blame. The SJW does not see the Low Man as innocent.

        Nor, of course, does she see him as her scapegoat. The *entire discourse about scapegoating is completely over her head.* She *can’t see it.* She sees him as an evil criminal. She has no idea she is scaping goats. She thinks she is administering justice.

        The SJW doesn’t realize she is projecting her own sinfulness onto the scapegoat. If she did, the mechanism of projection would not work.

        This is an aspect of what Girard is referring to, when he points out that the operation of the scapegoating mechanism is preconscious. It is a *mechanism.* It is a *radical vitiation of human autonomy.* It is like – no, dammit, it *just is* – a radical *surrender* of human autonomy. It is an act of the purest, most unsullied mimesis.

        This is why those engaged in scaping goats cannot see themselves as doing anything but administering justice, as plain as the nose on your face. After all: everyone agrees! The justice of the punishment is *just obvious*! And the whole thing is after all carried out under the strictest rubric of local political ritual (however “strict” is locally construed).

        Think of the courts of Law in Salem, Massachusetts. All done by the book.

        But then, this: from the fact that the SJW honestly finds that the Low Man is guilty of the crimes she ascribes to him, for which she then condemns and sentences him – in her own mind, rightly – it does not follow that the Low Man is not in fact innocent of those crimes. The baby who in fact does interfere with the career plans of the emancipated feminist is not *guilty.* He is, rather, despite the fact of the scandal he represents to his mother, *completely innocent.*

        Can we think of other completely innocent scapegoats? The Duke LaCrosse “Rapists,” for example? Kavanaugh? The victims of Tawana Brawley? Indeed, in many cases, the scapegoats are *entirely imaginary.* The scapegoats I have mentioned all evaded defenestration. But how many others – indeed, how many thousands of others – must there be, who did not, if these famous few whom we know about are the only ones whose actual innocence has at last finally been admitted – even though their natural, chthonic, essential guilt is, of course, not at all in doubt?

        The Low Man is not guilty for what he has actually done. He is guilty for what he is, or seems to be. This is the raw bloody gut of Zippy’s characterization of the Low Man, vis-à-vis his persecutors.

        A man who is condemned on account of his nature, rather than for what he has actually done, is, precisely, innocent.

        In the modern West, the mere existence of a traditionalist does not at all obstruct the SJW as she continues on her way. He has done nothing to interfere with her, other than to post a few apothegms online. He goes his way, she hers. Ne’er do the twain e’er meet. Ne’er need they, anyway. Even if they did, so what? The reactionary does not actually attack the SJW. He attacks her only in her mind.

        In reality, all he does is order another beer and ignore her. He probably doesn’t notice her in the first place.

        To the SJW, none of that matters. She must find some man somewhere, who is by her lights, and by the lights of her ilk, an oddball, a nonconformist. His refusal to beck and nod and obligingly partake at the commensal celebrations of her coven suffice to the justice of his demolition. So it happens.

      • Kristor, thanks. I agree that pre-born babies are entirely innocent victims; I should probably have made that distinction when I posted the link to Zippy’s post. My personal experience with what Zippy alludes to in that particular vein is that the goat being scaped is most often one of those of us who do whatever little is in his power to make the murder of the pre-born more difficult to achieve to the murderess and her accomplices. Were it within our power to do so, we would put a stop to the practice altogether, and the SJW murderesses know that.

        You wrote:

        The SJW doesn’t realize she is projecting her own sinfulness onto the scapegoat. If she did, the mechanism of projection would not work.

        Yeah, I think that is right *most of the time*. Although I personally know several SJWs who know precisely what they are up to. I could give specific examples, but in general what they are doing, and in fact know they are doing when you get down to it, is projecting onto others their worst sins in order to draw attention away from themselves and their, well, criminal behavior.

        That quibble with what you wrote might in fact be instances of what we normally refer to as the exception to the rule, or even the extreme exception to the rule, but I’m not so sure that is the case at all. My personal experiences, which are admittedly fairly limited, is that it is more commonplace than some of us would like to believe.

  6. “Good taste is one of the features of high social status, whatever people of high social status like will be considered good.”

    Will be considered good = mimesis.

    Rap music. Good taste. High social status. Do you mean… well, what do you mean, exactly?

    Jesus never says, Imitate me. He says, Imitate my imitation of the father. That is the real upwardness.

    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  7. Pingback: XII – Invictus – Times-Dispatch of Vichy Earth

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