Re: virus: Observations on Virus

David McFadzean (
Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:26:36 -0600

At 02:09 PM 10/25/95 +0000, Tyson Vaughan wrote:

>I am merely pointing out that this is an inherent problem in ANY religion,
>and Virus is no exception despite its aspirations to become completely

Dogma isn't any more inherent in religion than the worship of supernatural
entities, i.e. only if that's how you define religion.

>>Scientific facts are written down as well. Are they dogma?

Dogma has the connotations of something held to be true no matter
what the evidence to the contrary. I don't think it applies to
science or Virus.

>Just to clarify, this is shorthand for: the meaning of (an individual's)
>life is the sum effect of that person's memes. This is what I understand
>Virus to postulate.

Just to clarify, I postulated that the meaning of one's life is the
sum total of the effects of that life, due to memes or otherwise.
I noticed that you used the word 'postulate' which, to me, means that
the statement is provisional and, ipso facto, not dogma.

>{An aside here -- Romana, by the way, also seems to think that death is a
>very, very bad thing, something to be avoided at all costs. I see no
>problem with longevity or even immortality, but I don't see anything wrong
>with death, either. It's natural, after all. Seeing her talking about

"Natural" should never be confused with "good". Botulism is, after all,
completely natural.

>For an excellent discourse on evolution and historical contingency, I
>strongly recommend Stephen Jay Gould's book WONDERFUL LIFE.

For an excellent antidote to Gould, I strongly recommend Dennett's
_Darwin's Dangerous Idea_.

>I suppose I am putting the universe in the place of the Classical gods.
>Perhaps I have some pantheistic tendencies that way, but in general I don't
>see humans as any better than any other species in the universe. I don't
>like species-centricity at all. And while I am sure that many Extropians
>are not species-centric, I keep getting that old-time species-centric vibe
>from the Extropian movement.

Is it hubris to believe that humans have the most potential of
any known species? Just wondering.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects Ltd.