virus: Re: FAQ ideas

Tyson Vaughan (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 01:05:37 +0000

David Leeper wrote:

>>What is the Virus stance on abortion,
>This should be based on the long-term genetic/memetic effects of abortion on
>home sapians. Personally, I see these effects as minimal. So minimal, in
>fact, I could see Virus' stance as being "We don't care about this issue.
> It's emotional and has little effect on our overall goals."

Careful about your use of the word "emotional." You seem to be implying
that things emotional are somehow trivial. I don't think that that is a
postulate of Virus. As someone mentioned in an earlier posting, emotion
does not have to be opposed to rationalism.

A tangent on passion:
Any religion worth its salt is going to have to recognize the power and
essentialiy of passion. Passion is central to humanity. I don't know
about you, but without emotion I don't think life would be worth living. In
fact, I'd say the two best things in life (speaking abstractly here) are
passion and beauty. IMHO.

>Death Rules! :-) When the state kills someone, it is (usually) extingishing
>their memes and possibly their genes. Is this desirable? Does the meme
>complex of "If you perform such and such an act, we will kill you." work?
> What are our alternatives?

I don't think that threat works as a deterent. Also, I've heard that the
death penalty does not have the economic advantages most people think it
does. Personally I'm not sure where I stand, but I do know that more
attention needs to be paid to infecting people with memes that would
prevent them from doing things that would put them in the position of being
up for the death penalty.

>>How does art fit into Virus?
>To me, art is part of any religion. Perhaps we should begin an art
>collection which reflects Virus' values.

I notice that you are not exhorting people to CREATE such art, but rather
that we should collect art that falls into this description. Wise choice of
words. I am extremely leery of "art" that is created expressly to exalt a
particular meme-complex. Reminds me too much of totalitarian states. Not
to mention the fact that I don't think it produces very good art, as a
general rule.

Art that reflects the value of pancritical rationalism? Weird.

>Here's one I'd like to add to the list:
>Humans are destroying the environment at an amazing rate. This destruction
>is directly or indirectly a result of our memes. The "Capitalism" meme
>complex directly destroys the environment through the exploitation of these
>resources. Combined with the "Medicine" meme complex, it has produced
>massive over-population because people now live longer, but (most) remain
>poor. The poor reproduce much faster than the middle or upper income people
>do. Clearly some "Memetic Engineering" is desperately needed in this area.

Excellent suggestion to add this subject.

However, your statement about capitalism assumes that our economy is indeed
one of capitalism. This has lately come under a lot of fire by economists.
In recent years it has been pointed out that we do not, in fact, have a
free market system. The economy appears to be driven more by a parastic
relationship between a corporate plutocracy and a desperately greedy
consumer population. The plutocracy expends huge amounts of energy
infecting the conumer population with various shades of the Greed meme. It
is the Greed meme, combined with the fact that growth is essential to our
economy (without it the economy collapses), which generates the destruction
of our ecosystem. The rest of the system which fosters these memes doesn't
really matter as it relates to ecological destruction.

In discussing this topic with a friend of mine who has been studying it, he
summarized simply and eloquently: "The problem with growth is that it isn't
sustainable. We need a new kind of economic understanding rooted in ecology

and well-being."

Which is where your line comes in: "Clearly some 'Memetic Engineering' is
desperately needed in this area."

Tyson Vaughan memetic engineer graphic designer