RE: virus: Toleration of Toleration

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 1 Jul 1996 22:25:48 -0700

Reed wrote:

>The distinction is not as clear in the human brain, of course. As a
>result we
>have the tendency to try to expunge those memes we devalue completely.
>most obvious way of removing their impact on the environment is to
>remove all
>copies of them. Thus vehicles of "heresy" get burned at the stake to
>the ideas they contain from the meme-sphere. The effectiveness of this
>strategy is debatable.

Why is it whenever the subject of "heresy" comes up, someone talks about
burning people at the stake? As memeticists, we should know that is a
lousy way to expunge a heretical meme. Much more effective ways are:

-ignore it
-ridicule/marginalize it
-threaten grave punishment for harboring it

The threat of being burned at the stake is what is effective, not the
burning itself.

A heresy is simply a belief that conflicts with church dogma. As a
church, we will naturally have heresies. What we do about them is
another matter: tolerate, subvert, or (most effective) put our own memes
on TV.

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