Re: virus: Observations on Virus

Tyson Vaughan (
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 01:28:54 +0000

T. Harms wrote:

>>Yet the memes in this meme-complex have been written down. That is dogma.
>No, that is DOCTRINE. Perhaps Virus is too doctrinaire, but that is an
>entirely different matter.

Hmm, this is a good thing you've pointed this out. I think I've been
mixing my words.

>The correlation between science and Virus is not accidental. Popper (yes,
>here I go on Popper again) was important for producing a philosophy of
>science which exposes the counter-dogmatic processes of scientific
>advancement. Bartley, whose emphasis was philosophy of religion, took
>Popper's work to completion by showing that dogmatism (and fideism) are not
>necessary components of rationality. I do not think that this need be
>interpreted as the end of religion; I prefer to see this as the touch-stone
>for the viability of non-fideist religion. That is, religion without
>faith. (Which, IMO, is an issue which subsumes and overshadows that of

That's pretty cool. I like those ideas.

>And Damien is also correct that most Extropians, or at least those who have
>done their homework, "would know that biological evolution is not
>progressive in the way people used to think it is." It is progressive in
>the sense of being DIRECTIONAL, not in the sense of guaranteeing
>increasing happiness, well-being, wisdom, love, or any other noteworthy
>human value.

I see evolution as directional only in the sense that time is directional.

>Very important, this. Promoting the world-view which is open to perpetual
>revision is a major task. But I, for one, think that this is a new and
>rare perspective. The major outlook, the dominant attitude of European
>culture, has been very different. I don't think dogmatism has occurred
>much by lapses from attempts to avoid it; dogmatism has been the prevailing

This may be true.

You make an excellent point that the "prime directive" of Virus is
radically different from traditional European doctrines. It's interesting
to note that much of Extropianism is entirely inline with traditional
European cultural ideals. (Expansion, technological progress, understanding
the universe through science, humanism, etc.) Yet there seems to be, for
example, a certain ecological awareness to Extropianism which is more
Eastern in its roots.

Tyson Vaughan
Memetic engineer