Re: virus: Selfishness
Tue, 23 Jul 1996 17:57:53 -0500

>My point is only that Brodies' way of thinking could get one killed.
>WE THE PEOPLE are life forms.
>Life forms have NO CHIOCE but to form 'predator/prey' Natural Law competition.
>WE THE PEOPLE have formed a society that has given birth to predator/prey
>among ourselves.
>To think any different would be suicide.
>All this stems from my impression that Mr. Brodie is a pacifist.
>My impression of Mr.Brodie stems from Mr.Brodie ( what and how he writes ).

I think you are misinterpreting memetics, or maybe just Richard. I find it
amusing because, if anything, I find Richard's method of communicating the
idea too hostile, too aggressive, and too confrontational. I don't know.
I find in situations like this it often helps to stop viewing "Brodie's way
of thinking" as if it were "the enemy". After all, if you chose not
believe what he says he doesn't command the resorces to force you act as if
you do; and if you want to convince him (or us) he's wrong you will need to
be a little clearer.

I find this a problem myself. Richard has taken the trouble to write a
book on the subject, which means he has devoted a lot of thought and heard
a lot of arguments around the issue. I don't agree with everything he
says, but I find it difficult to argue most points. He has a good
rhetorical style and to oppose him in familiar territory means one must
contribute at least equivalent effort. I don't have the luxury of that
time right now. The thing is, though, these debates are ongoing. I
content myself with the fact that eventually I may reach a level of
sophistication that allows me to state my meaning clearly and obviously
enough that Richard, along with everyone else, will say "you know, he's
right, I should start thinking that way instead...". Of course, by that
time, who knows where this debate will have gotten too?

I hope you will not take offense to this. Screaming doesn't help; in this
world mare than the flesh world. What you say is recorded and
redistributed. People can read and reread what you present. If it shocks
or annoys them they can delete it almost before they notice it. If they
care to they can logically dissect, paraphrase, quote you out of
context...and who writes (or thinks) completely reasonable, iron-clad logic
all the time? Actually, getting people to really consider what you are
saying is reletively difficult.

If you are not interested in people listening then posting is futile,
except perhaps as catharsis.

>Life forms have NO CHIOCE but to form 'predator/prey' Natural Law competition.

Don't you really mean to say: "I CANNOT IMAGINE any way for life forms to
behave other than a 'predator/prey' Natural Law competition."

This is refered to (you might have noticed) as 'The Natuaralistic Fallacy'.
Daniel Dennet has a nice quote (which I'm going to do the injustice of
paraphrasing): "One should not confuse a limit to imagination with
necessity". In other words, just because we have difficulty envisioning
alternatives to "natural" ways of doing things it doesn't mean such stable
alternate systems do not exist. At one time people considered it
impossible to fly, to fly to the moon, etc. Pope Leo X thought a new
weapon demonstrated to him was so terrible it would end warfare; the weapon
was the crossbow. The atomic bomb was supposed to end war becuase no one
could image war with nuclear bombs. Does this mean war is inevitable
becuase we can't imagine a situation where people would never fight or
never disagree.

That last statement is most assuredly not my point. My point is: beware of
what you "can't imagine"; tomorrow it may be reality. It is, at least, my
intent to see that much that is "natural" be replaced by something more

Idealist, maybe. Sue me.

>Post script:>In case no one noticed, I quote the IDEA more than the
>person,story,event,scarcastic joke,whatever,etc.,I.E.> "When the sword of
>rebellion is drawn, the sheath should be thrown away." English Proverb.
>So you see, (said the blind man), it is the idea behind the proverb, not the
>English themselves that I TRY to get across to 'some peoples' kids'.

Above is an example, this passage is unclear (to me at least). If you
think I'm a fool, or mentally blind, or unworthy of enlightenment then I
can see why you would not care to expend the effort to clarify. But,
please, for a moment...could you reread that quote as you might something I
had written? Do you think it is communicating everything essential to your