virus: meeting minutes

David McFadzean (
Wed, 22 Mar 1995 10:25:30 -0700

present: Duane Hewitt, David McFadzean
date: March 12, 1995

The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm some marketing avenues
(meme vectors) for Virus. Here's what we came up with:

- Web page
- mailing list
- book (non-fiction)
- political party (the Rational Party)
- infomercial :-)
- fiction (novels, short stories)
- idea futures
- controversy
- martyr

Work has already begun on the Web page (
and the mailing list (obviously). Out of these ideas I thought the Web page
would be the best to work on in the short term at least. Some ideas for the

- quick intro
- memetic lexicon (already there
- Virus lexicon
- proposition poll
- reading list
- mailing list form
- long intro
- "Virus takes a stance"

The "proposition poll" is an interactive Web "game" where anyone can vote
on the truth of various statements such as "God exists" or "the Singularity
will occur before 2001". The server will merely tabulate the results of the
vote, giving a snapshot of public concensus concerning these issues. It is
sort of a cross between Idea Futures
and the Keepers of Lists (

The format of the "Virus takes a stance" page would be a list of several
issues (e.g. On Objectivism, On Life After Death, On New Age Religions) followed
by our position on the respective issue. Other topics to take a stance on:
- the major philosophers from history and how Virus agrees or disagrees with
their positions: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Darwin,
Diderot, Voltaire, etc., etc.
- the major (and some minor) religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism,
Wicca, Scientology, etc.
- paranormal issues: channeling, life after death, psychic phenomena, UFOs
- technical issues: cryogenics, nanotech, AI, artificial life, the Singularity
- anything else?

Of course I personally don't have a stance on all the issues mentioned
above. Virus,
as a community, will have to determine these. That's what the mailing list
is for.

For the quick intro, I was going to have the Virus home page have just the
logo and
"Virus Is:" followed by a number of short descriptions like the following:
- a forum for rational discourse
- a memetically engineered religion
- a Hegelian synthesis of religion and evolution
- the best possible conceptual framework for living and thinking
- any others?

The long intro will be a set of interconnected pages describing the basic
of Virus. I would like to organize this around the traditional philosophical
of Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics. Under metaphysics the Virus
ontology (system
theory) and semantics will be described. Under epistemology we have evolutionary
epestemiology and pancritical rationalism (vis. Bartley). And finally we
have Virus
ethics concerning the value of complexity and action/agent semantics (how to
meaning in individual lives).

Everything mentioned so far will have links to definitions in the memetic
and the Virus lexicon.

Also, all pages should have links to appropriate references in the Virus
reading list.
Obvious candidates for the reading list include:
- The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
- The Blind Watchmaker - Richard Dawkins
- The Extended Phenotype - Richard Dawkins
(like it or not, Dawkins is the godfather of Virus :)
- Complexity - Roger Lewin
- The Retreat to Commitment - W. W. Bartley III
- The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
- what else?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer                Merak Projects Ltd.