We discover all kinds of harm done to ourselves by environmental pollutants, decades or centuries after the fact. What if someday we discover that mass media and consumer culture, as we know it, is literally detrimental to one's health?


... There is ... danger [of the deliberate using NLDP for harm]. ... NLDP-effect arises ... when a person is plunged into the intensive field of influence received by the optic, acoustic, kinesthetic perception ducts. ... often called TV programs, listening to the music, moving in the space of different texture, contacting with technical devices, etc. ... In some industrial countries such aphasia disorders as dyslexia and agraphia ... are unaccountably widespread. This "aphasia epidemic" can be easily explained by NLDP-effects. ... in the communication informational field certain informational-semantic blocks circulate. I call these blocks NOUS-VIRUSES. They get into the brain of a child or an adult, and, if his "anti-virus" defense does not work, the result of the destruction is a psychological disorder, which is not accompanied by the organic affection of the brain. ...
In case the awkward translation threw you for a loop, what this author is basically saying is that there are certain "idea viruses" circulating in our surroundings which make it past certain mental barriers ("anti-virus" defense) to cause mental disorders such as dyslexia, aphasia, and agraphia.

Sounds very Snow-Crash-like. Later on in the article, the author suggests establishing a new branch of science ("NOUSEOLOGY") to deal with these things. Maybe the translation missed it, but I don't suppose this author has heard of memetics...

Anyway, no research is mentioned to prove the claims, and there's nothing else to convince me that this is anything other than a wild rant... but the idea is interesting. Another Cluetrain tie in for me, at least in my head: What if some day, communicating to humans with a human voice (whether literally speaking, or in other channels) is determined to be the only medically safe way to communicate? :)

I'd like to think our minds aren't so fragile, though.