RE: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #26
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 15:46:09 -0600

>Mon. afternoon I am lecturing on elizabethan rhetoric and how it relates to
>Shakespearean drama. I am amazed when I hear from people under 20 that they
>have *no* understanding of the Bible or any of its symbols. How much, I
>will they get from Shakespeare? Has good old Wil been insulated out of our
>meme pool as well?

Fellow Virians,

Mr. Atkins makes an excellent point here, and one that borders on two
issues that I have been wanting to bring out for discussion:

(1). This is a forum for the Church of Virus, which defines itself aa a
memetically-based _religion_. Since this is the case, why are we finding so
much anti- or pro- religion or science (take your pick) banter here? The
Church is supposed to be based upon an application of the dialectic; why
are we trying to eliminate thesis or antithesis (take your pick) instead of
formulating a synthesis?

(2). Is religion, or science, faulty _as a whole_ because of specific
inefficient memes? If not, why are we focusing on finding holes in the
armour instead of replacing / co-opting / splicing these specific memes
(i.e., isn't it possible to have religion without the meme of blind faith
-- replacing it with inductively supported belief, which is by definition
unproven and thus _faith_ in essence -- or god without the ideas of
omnipotence and omniscience)?

I think we ARE insulating good ol' Willie out of the circuit, along
with Dante, J. S. Bach, and Victor Hugo (ever tried reading Les Miserables
as an atheist?). We may be ridding ourselves of E.T.-clone Dionne Warwick
and her Psychic Fiends [sic] Network, but _at what price_?
Can we honestly say that the contributions of the above artists -- as
well as many of Aristotle's works and other non-artistic products of the
ages -- are inferior to science in giving us some understanding of life,
just because they contain religious and/or mystical elements? Memetic
engineering (i.e., what this list seems to be intended to accomplish,
through discourse) would seem to require constant testing and _attempted
subversion_ of ideas in order to be most effective for survival: these are,
after all, the challenges that our environment throws at us.
We are not displaying these qualities at present: we are engaging
instead in camoflaged conservatism. Ergo, we are not applying real-world
standards to this thread, but instead engaging in sophistry -- which will
get us nowhere, in the process trashing what may still be of use. Such as
old ruffled Will.
Time for a change, maybe?

Toward the accumulation of useful information,