virus: Re: FAQ ideas

Tyson Vaughan (
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 12:45:08 +0000

My general criticism of David Leeper's proposed answers (or ANYONE's for
that matter) to the various FAQ questions is that they tend to be personal
interpretations of all the data available to him. Obviously this is going
to be the way every individual responds to these questions. While such
answers may be rendered faithfully through the lens of pancritical
rationalism, they will always come down to personal interpretation of
limited data.

I think that the answers which represent Virus's point of view should avoid
these problems. Ideally, they should be based on data collocated from
exhaustive research on each problem. Quantity and quality of data is
essential to the success of any pancritical rationalistic system, such as

Probably the closest Virus can come to reaching this ideal is to survey a
range of experts in each field and arrive at some kind of synthesis.

Another tact is to identify only those specifics which are essentially
indisputable. For instance, the fact that humanity is severely damaging the
biosphere. I'd suggest that we avoid getting caught up in pointing fingers
at specific causes, since we quickly find ourselves in an area where
disputes are inevitable and a single, clear, rational answer does not
present itself.

It may be enough to point out that -- as is the case with most such
phenomena -- our relatioship with the biosphere is a highly complex one,
and the causes of our destruction of the biosphere are myriad and also
complex. In general many of these causes are meme-complexes maladapted to
our current situation as a species on Earth. Some of these memes and
meme-complexes include greed*, isolation of consumers from production
methods, a blindness to the interconnectedness of all living things, etc.
(Whether these values are engendered more or less by one economic system or
another may not be relevant.)

*Greed. (The memes in this list may be added to the lexicon. In this case,
we could define greed as an unquenchable desire for more power, status and
material wealth. The inevitable implications of this desire are a
consumption of resources with no mechanism for replacement of those
resources or at the very least a re-establishment of the balance disrupted
by such consumption. Greed is a meme which encourages a parasitic
relationship with our environment.)

I think that similar solutions can be applied to other questions such as
welfare, etc.

Tyson Vaughan memetic engineer graphic designer