RE: virus: Level 0 (formerly: is Clinton level 3)

Schneider John (
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 04:40:38 -0500

Kenneth Boyd wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Nov 1996, Schneider John wrote:
> >
> > Jim Gentry wrote:
> > > So what do you think, is Bill Clinton a level 3? He seems to
> > > be willing to do what is "useful." How about other examples of
> > > level 3 activity.
> >
> > That occurred to me as well... another example is religion - some
> > Christians, when confronted with enough argumentation which cannot
> > be gotten around, just say "it's right for me, and that's that,"
> > which sounds rather level 3 to me.
> >
> > - JPS
> You'll have to show me that argumentation sometime [NOT ON THIS
> LIST! Please, I don't need a flame war on this list....]

I think most anybody, when faced with the fact that their theories,
in the end, are based upon accepted axioms, makes a similar argument.
Only very recently (1930's or so) have physicists stopped 'believing'
in their theories, and started viewing them as 'useful' rather than
'right'; and I have thought of such a switch in viewpoint as a step
from level 2 to level 3, but we could now call it a step to level
zero, since all they're saying is "it works for us."

> This [facetiously?] suggests a new level:
> Level 0
> Sketch of concept:
> Level 0 is *also* acquired by formal education. It is distinguished
> by a remarkable lack of memetic integrity, compared to Levels 1, 2,
> and 3.
> Until the advent of more ad-hoc levels, Level 0 is considered to
> attempt to masquerade as either level 2 or level 3. It may be
> distinguished from both of these, over time, by the lack of
> consistent intense resolve towards claimed goals.
> The lack of memetic integrity consists in the expression [not
> too close in time, that is inhuman] of many apparently-dominant
> memes that directly attack each other.
> Your example about "Christians" [I won't classify Clinton; it
> would not surprise me if many of those who voted for him are
> Level 0, even if Clinton is of a "higher" level] defines a
> nominal phenotype of the Christians that functions at Level 0.
> Given that many churches these days are full of devout unbelievers,
> many of these pseudotheists, I would not be surprised if many of
> these nominal phenotypic Christians are really mimics hailing from
> some other religion.
> [Oh. Pseudotheist: someone who is convinced that he believes in a
> God, but doesn't. This may be discerned by the lack of hardship
> caused by his beliefs. "No pain, no gain".]

(You seem to employ a time-invariant notion of "belief"... if our
definition of belief allows it to vary over time, then we don't need
the confusing term 'pseudotheist'; [one's beliefs can be wrong, but
how can one believe he believes something, when in actuality he does
not believe it? That's confusing.... (e.g. I believe that 1 + 1 = 3,
and I am a 'pseudothreeist'.)])

Anyway, this is how I interpret level 0: I've said before that I
like to think of the levels in terms of 'modes':

level 1 mode: "survival mode"
level 2 mode: "trying to understand mode"
level 3 mode: "consciousness of purpose mode"

So, a Christian might say, "I have chosen service to God as my
purpose, and I find it fulfilling (i.e. 'it works for me')", which
certainly utilizes level three mode, even if just for a brief moment.
This would explain why I called it a level three argument.

Question: is there a level zero *mode*, or is level zero just
a description of the amount of time spent in various modes?
(e.g. a level 3 mind presumably spends a great deal of time
operating in level 3 mode, or even all three modes at once;
whereas, a level 0 mind just hops up there on occasion...)