Re: Virus Maximus (was Re: virus: Project #1: Virus Maxims)

David McFadzean (
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 15:06:57 -0600

First, I want to mention another site on the web:

This statement of faith has exactly the kind of format I would like
to see for the Virus Maxims, though the content is exactly opposite
to what I would expect for our set.

At 01:45 PM 9/11/95 -0600, Duane Daniel Hewitt wrote:

>1) The process of Natural Selection proposed by Darwin is a fundamental
>force that drives living systems. As expanded upon by Dawkins there is a
>selection for the optimal replicators. There are many strategies for
>optimal replication and the most sucessful win out over the long term.
>One of the purposes of Virus could be to derive an optimal survival
>strategy for its members.

True, I did say in the Goal "[Virus] would introduce and propagate memes
which would ensure the survival and evolution of our species." Are you
talking about members of humanity or members of Virus?

>2) As Saint Dawkins (I second the nomination, David) has also pointed out

This opens the question of whether Virus should have saints, and if so,
how to nominate/choose/elect them. Personally I think it could make
an informative and amusing page in the Virus web if we don't take it
too seriously.

>I have strayed somewhat from producing maxims so let me try;
>1) Selection pressures and evolution are fundamental aspects of existence.

I think selection pressures are intrinsic to evolution so this maxim
could be made more concise:

The process of evolution is a fundamental aspect of existence.

>2) These pressures cause the optimal replicators to prevail based on the
>sole criteria that they are the preferred replicators.

I'm not sure of the intent of this one. Are you defining evolution here?
If so, what does it mean to "prevail" and what is meant by "preferred"?

>3) Evolutionary pressures are not only present in biology but exist in
>memetic systems.

Actually I would claim it is even more general than that. Recent articles
in Sci.Am. and Wired about the inflationary theory of the origin of the
universe suggest that perhaps evolution operates on the biggest scale of
them all.

>4) Adaptability has been shown to be an optimal strategy for replication
>in the realm of biology and this has not been as clearly demonstrated in
>memetics but probably can also be applied in that realm. This is fairly
>closely related to David's initial suggestion.

I concur that this is a restatement of my first maxim (all beliefs
are provisional) which is itself just a statement that pan-critical
rationalism is the best epistemology (provisionally :-).

>5) If one chooses to live rationally then one allows that one's actions
>should be judged by rational means. If one chooses to live by irrational
>means then one is subject to judgement by irrational means.

I don't know what you are trying to say with the latter half of this one.
Aren't actions only judged irrational by rational means?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects Ltd.