Re: transcendence

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From: Tom Sweetnam (
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 18:59:50 PDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> Sorry, but I only see an extreme instance of self control, plus a
> virulent, misguided meme complex destroying its host. We're rather
> flexible animals, but we're still animals.
> Think of it as evolution in action.

Hmmmm....we had a guy in our Ranger Company named Frank "Rocky"
Fratellenico, as obnoxious a little bastard as was ever hatched in the
Bronx. Everyone hated him. These days, buildings are named after him, and
every Italian-American running for political office is sure to drop Rocky's
name. Yet the only selfless thing he ever did in his life was to dive on a
grenade and save the lives of several others around him who were pinned down
by an NVA machine-gunner. Unfortunately, Rocky's act of bravado, his swan
song exit as it were, is just about as dramatic an example of a misguided
meme complex destroying its host as I've ever been privy to. He went a lot
faster than that monk did though, of that I am certain.

As one might expect, owing to the sentimental fools who write such things,
there is nary a reference to memes in his Congressional Medal of Honor
citation. I'm pretty sure the others who were within eternity's doorstep of
that grenade saw something quite different than a misguided meme complex
destroying its host as well, but they were young grunts after all, and not
the most sophisticated souls on the least not at that point in
their lives. So I'll go ahead and stick my neck way out here, and hazard a
guess that what they saw in the A Shau Valley that day, was the same thing
that I saw on that street in Hue -an example of "evolution in action", an
example of transcendense. After all Eugene, what pot of gold is there at
the end of this rainbow we call evolution, besides transcendence?

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