Re: virus: May the best meme win?
Sat, 23 Nov 1996 10:28:37 -0600 (CST)

On Sat, 16 Nov 1996, Richard Brodie wrote:


> This touches, by the way, on one of the most common phenomena I see
> working against the spread of science. I call it distinguish-and-discard
> mode, and I spoke about it for the first time at the Western Washington
> Mensa meeting last Sunday on my birthday.
> Here's how it works.
> The Level-2 mind has one fixed model of reality. Any new input must fit
> into that model (usually called Truth) or be discarded. In
> distinguish-and-discard modem the Level-2 mind "recognizes" broad
> classes of dissonant input -- such as new theories, unpleasant people,
> disturbing political views, and so on -- and lumps them into a class of
> memes "known" to be valueless.
> This shows up constantly when I speak about memetics. The educated
> Level-2'er will listen for a few seconds, then think, "ah, this is
> sociobiology, it's been discredited" or "this smacks of self-help, which
> is pop psychology, no need to pay attention." My challenge is to break
> people out of that mode and let them learn a new paradigm.

And Time Magazine once spent an article moaning about the rarity of
geniuses in the 20th century [Somewhen in 1994?]. You just explained why
[they certainly didn't!].

The classic Level-2 mind has a sharp tolerance level for conscious cognitive
dissonance: NONE. A person rendered memeoid with respect to the latter
trait not only cannot *be* a genius, he cannot *tolerate* proximity to a
genius. Genii (geniuses?) invariably have huge tolerances for conscious
cognitive dissonance ;)

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd