When we begin to see memes and memeplexes as measurable components of the world we begin to understand how self-defeating and irrational the American prison system is.
Our prisons provide the perfect breeding ground for increasingly violent and destructive memeplexes.
The high control, resource restricted environment encourages (even demands) association for survival. Gangs compete for resources and influence, growing small conflicts from society in the agar filled petri-dish that is the prison system. Gang immune systems and survival strategies adapt, are imitated and develop a memetic arms race, leading to increased virulence and violence.
Additionally, the prison system, being a synthetic environment, has the tendency to create psychological disturbance as well as aggravate existing psychological conditions. It doesn't help that USA prisons are utilized as a mental health system, dumping individuals in need of care into the highly competitive environment of legal incarceration.
We are still living in public policy dark ages. Without the framework of memetics, we will continue to mock Norway's prison system and insist that such implementation in the US would encourage lawlessness. Once we recognize the power of memes and memetics to influence human behavior, we will also understand the need to engineer legal systems which recognize the power of memetics and their ability to shape society.
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