Re: virus: The "science" of memes?
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:36:12 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 12 Dec 1996, XYZ Customer Support wrote:

> >From: Richard Brodie <>


> >>The only known method for "disinfecting" a person who has
> >>successfully succumbed to a brainwashing session is a thing called
> >>deprogramming. For propaganda and persuasion, it is simply learning
> >>to think for yourself, avoid logical fallacies, and learning the
> >>scientific method. Richard's suggestions for disinfection would never
> >>work according to professional deprogrammers and I personally think
> >>that it would make matters worse instead of better.
> >Who told you that? Actually, the brainwashing I've been involved with
> >typically makes great use of the "avoid logical fallacies" meme to
> >cantilever people into behaving against their best interests.
> Avoiding logical fallacies is not a meme. Very few people even know
> anything about logical fallacies (unfortunately). Logic says if you
> contradict yourself or say something that contradicts facts, then
> what you say cannot be considered reliable evidence for anything. It
> can be something that can be safely ignored then.

A lynch mob cannot be safely ignored, regardless of their contradicting
themselves or not.

The fact very few people know anything about logical fallacies is a
*strong* argument that avoiding them is a meme. In fact, this meme is at
least partially incompatible with behaving in a socially intelligent
fashion, since valid social reasoning automatically considers many
logical fallacies valid.

> >I'm amazed that you could read my chapter on evolution and come away
> >with that misconception. Evolution centers around replicators, not
> >individuals. Both individuals and species are vehicles for the
> >spread of selfish genes.
> Evolution is not about replicators and since the evidence shows that
> individuals do not evolve, then individuals cannot be vehicles for
> imaginary selfish genes. Replicating is not evolving.

Definition Clash!

The definition you are using fails to coincide with almost everyone
else's on this list, as far as I can tell. In particular, you don't mean
the same thing by evolution as I do.


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