RE: virus: Absolute Truth

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 22 May 1996 13:45:06 -0700

Tad wrote:
>Person A says: "I believe X is true". Person B says: "X is not true,
>besides, it's a waste of time to discuss it. I don't even care if X is
>or not", and on the same breath: "it is childish and comforting to
>X is true -- of course it is not true (as other comforting beliefs)!"
>It is a very practical meme in a power struggle. Nothing is said about
>Bystanders are scared (they don't want to appear childish). Person B
>gaining power.
>What would be a disinfection technique for this meme?

My basic point is not to get sucked into solving problems or fighting
battles that don't further your conscious purpose.

I like to stay out of power struggles, and instead to act based on my
purpose in any situation. I talk about this a great deal in "Getting
Past OK."
>A belief in 2 + 2 = 4 (ie. if I have 2 cows and I buy 2 more cows I
>have 4 cows) is also a very useful meme. It allows us to plan, set
>and build airplanes. The more we learn about the world, the more we
>our beliefs, as Jason pointed out we do not believe in flat Earth any
>We are improving our beliefs toward something, don't we? Isn't it the
>Absolute Truth?

As I have stated, the scientific method is a way to steer the evolution
of memes toward practical, useful, and accurate ones. Now you may say
that there are memes that are practical and useful, but not accurate.
The scientific method doesn't help us with those, does it? Could it? I
think so, if we made it a scientific goal to program ourselves with the
most useful memes.

>Here is a very good quote from Jason:
>>Our theories may not represent the ultimate truth but they are
>>certainly more accurate that the flat-earth/turtle theories. And
>>if they are more accurate, doesn't that imply there is some
>>ultimate truth by which various theories are judged?
>A belief in God is useful, even if there is no evidence that God
>exists. A
>belief in Absolute Truth is also useful, but -- to the contrary --
>there is
>no evidence against it.
>How does it relate to "It's good to live consciously" meme? Isn't
>consciously striving for a better approximation of objective reality
>in physical and social life)?

I'll just say a flat out "no" to that question. Again my thoughts on
conscious living are discussed in detail in my two books.
>(3) Memes evolutionary target
>I wrote:
>>>Genes evolve to match the reality of the physical world.
>Richard replied:
>>I don't know what that means, Tad. Genes evolve to be better
>>replicators, no?
>What is a "better repicator"? The better the genes match the reality
>better they can replicate. An organism with an eye is a better tank
>for a
>gene than a blind organism. "Better replication" is a *consequence* of
>being able to receive and process more information about the
>"The fittest" are not the fittest because they just happen to know how
>replicate well.

That's an interesting point of view, but it flies in the face of modern
evolutionary biology and I would need to understand why you believe
that. Ferns (their DNA that is) are darned good replicators. Do they
have a particularly good ability to match reality and/or process
information about the environment?
>>I think the Absolute Truth meme is used far more
>>often to conquer and war than is the No Absolute Truth meme. I think
>>Hitler, the Crusades, gay-bashing, and so on all made or make repugnant
>>use of the Absolute Truth meme.
>These are perfect examples of "My Truth" memes. It was Hitler who was
>saying "we need to use all the tricks in the book to spread our
>and he did. The reason he lost is not that his memes just happened to
>poor replicators, but these memes were not consistent with the Absolute
>Truth about how people can co-operate on Earth (which we may not
>know yet, but after Hitler's experience we are getting a little closer

This is a little far out. Are you saying that if I bet with you that a
coin flip will come out Heads, but it comes out Tails, that my meme
wasn't consistent with Absolute Truth? I sniff some wishful thinking

>>One needs to stand behind one's morals, not have them imposed
>>externally. Then one can truly lead a principled life.
>What is "a principled life" if there is no Absolute Truth?

This is a good question, and one that you can start answering for
yourself just as soon as you disinfect yourself of the Absolute Truth
>Where does one take one's standards from? I agree it is not good to
>other people standards without conscious effort to understand them.
>But I
>also do not recommend to adopt standards because "they are good
>or just because "we need to use all the tricks in the book to spread
>memetics metameme" or even because some prophet from planet TeTa says

>Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
>CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
>Do you know what a "meme" is?