Re: virus: level 3

David McFadzean (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 16:02:35 -0700

At 01:50 PM 12/11/96 +0000, Ken Pantheists wrote:

>How can level 3 refer to anything in reality? Is your brain a condo with
>an elevator that only goes to level three under certain conditions?

Level-3 can refer to an attitude actually instantiated in humans.
Contrast it with a fictional "level-17" that allows the practitioner
to levitate (essentially breaking the laws of physics). I can believe
that level-3 may be real while simultaneously doubting the existence
of level-17.

>There comes a certain point where you can only treat it as a meme and it
>is only useful in that form.

I'm not disputing that point. e.g. I don't think the subject matter
of the X-Files is real, though I do find it very useful for entertainment.
If I encounter someone who thinks the X-File is (or could be real),
I have legitimate reasons for disagreeing with them. (I'm not saying
I actually would confront them, it depends on what is to be gained.)

>"The world is not flat" is a meme that had no reference to anything real
>until columbus planted his foot in the Americas. It did not refer to
>anything in reality until that moment.

I'm probably misunderstanding your point, but are you claiming the
world wasn't round until Columbus set foot in America? People had
the concepts and put them together long before Columbus.

>A meme doesn't have to have any reference to reality to be immensely


>When you feel compelled to debunk something you do lend credence to its
>existence, because you see it as a threat to you and the way you see the
>world. Even if it is only a meme.

When I argue against the existence of god I'm not arguing against
the existence of the god meme. Everyone accepts that the god meme exists.
Allow me to introduce a new notation for the god meme: "god" (and
more generally "X" is the meme about X). I accept that "god" exists,
as does "Santa Claus", "dragons", "souls", and "odd multiples of 2".
But I doubt any of the referents of these memes exist in objective
reality. If I feel compelled to argue against the existence of X,
it is because I see "X" (or the effect of people hosting "X") as
a threat to me or the way I see the world.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus