Re: virus: Observations on Virus

Twirlip of Greymist (
Wed, 25 Oct 1995 10:45:43 -0700 (PDT)

/Tyson Vaughan:
/Virus is too dogmatic.
/Yet the memes in this meme-complex have been written down. That is dogma.

What do you want? Memes do not flow magically from mind to mind. They
must be spoken, or written. "What is Virus?" An answer is on the web
page. How can it exist without being written down? This is Virus,
not Zen.

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


This one I'm not sure of. Epistemology makes me uneasy.

/for as long as possible. Its purpose generally appears to be accurate
/replication of fixed memes. Ritual seems to be inherently anti-Virus.

Virus is to be the replication of memes changing to fit their
environment, so they may or may not be fixed. No, I guess "stable" is a
better word than "fixed" for this concept. I'll note that established
rituals don't go over with me well; I like to make and scrap my own.

/Extropianism. While I strongly agree with some Extropian principles, I
/loathe others. The two which which really disturb me are: 1) the
/unquestioning faith in technology; 2) the belief that evolution is a
/progressive process. Also there seems to be a general affirmation of our

Unquestioning? I think lots of Extropians would recognize that tech
can be dangerous. But the quest to become more efficient and capable,
what's wrong with that? And most would know that biological evolution
is not progressive in the way people used to think it is. Of course
biological evolution doesn't have the Lamarckian characteristics of
memetic lifeforms.

/right, of humanity's right, to expand, to dominate, to control. All of
/this looks to me like hybris against the universe. I won't go into details

Hubris. And I guess I have it, because "hubris against the universe"
isnt' an active concept in my mind. Hubris invited retribution from the
gods, entitites lacking in the Extropian and Virian theospheres. But in
many ways, life is hubristic, whether or not it is intelligent.
"Boundless expansion" and "Self transformation" are just explicit
statements of what life does.

I learned of Virus from the Extropians list, and assumed it was a direct
spinoff. It seems fairly cool that way.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>
for a fast version of the Extropian principles.