RE: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #110

Dave Pape (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 01:43:34 GMT

At 12:41 12/12/96 -0800, you wrote:
>Dave Pape wrote:
>>I took
>>the interpretation that Richard was distinguishing his OWN abilities to
>>resist the influence of memes from other people's. If he confesses to
>>100% out of control of the memes/ideas in his brain, I'll retract. ;-)
>I control the memes in my mind in many ways. One is by watching very
>little television. One is by self-analysis. My book "Getting Past OK" is
>largely about ways to do that.

But... none of this suggests to me that there's a homunculus, a little
executive man in there who sits back and says, "right, I shall now have the
following thought." I may feel myself thinking "I shall now do an hour's
self-analysis", but... who or what was in control of the decision to make
THAT thought? Always when I look at my own behaviour, I feel that my
thoughts "just arise". I can NEVER think to order.

I can see that the memes in your head "TV is manipulative" will lead to a de
facto effect on the memes that you become exposed to; I have a very similar
meme in my brain, and am now almost totally unaware of what goes on in the
media world. And I love that ignorance! But... I STILL don't think I'm in
control of what I DO think, I just think I happen to arise from the
interaction of memes which inhibit the meme "watch TV".

In fact, if I now buy your book (Where can I GET VoM in the UK, by the way?)
"Getting Past OK", then I will be inviting your memes to impinge on my
neural resource. If I "change the way I think" as a result of the book, then
that'll be because the interaction of your memes (stored in print in the
book) with the encumbent memes in my brainspace just BEFORE I read the book,
give rise to new combinations of memes which drive my body's/brain's
behaviour in an altered way. That's not quite as giving and empowering as
you "teaching me to think for myself".

>>But... my point is that, whether we "choose" between two Colas, or 60
>>and drinking from puddles, there's really no choice at all because what
>>perceive as "choice" arises purely from some set of ideas/memes winning
>>control over our body (which, in the end, executes our actions). And
>>memetic processing proceeds according to evolutionary forces.
>One of those evolutionary forces is your own consciousness. The more
>aware you are of memetics, the more you can guide your driving memes and
>thus your behavior in a self-chosen direction.

But... "I" AM my driving memes. There is no "consciousness" which is not an
emergent of memetic interaction. You've said that consciousness arises from
memetic interaction... so is that interaction not primary, and consciousness

To me, consciousness can drive SOME memes, but memes are still primary
because consciousness arises from other memes, and so if the memes change,
the consciousness changes... memes are in control of my consciousness, all
the time.

>>>I don't think many people here believe in the non manipulation of
>>>thought. What, I think, we do believe in is that one can develop the
>>>skills to have a stronger "hand" in manipulating their own thoughts.
>>Can you? What ARE those skills? Aren't they just other meme-structures,
>>as much in control of your actions as the old, Coke-fixated ideas were?
>That skill is what I call (hold your breath) Level 3. It's not just
>another meme structure any more than your brain is just another cell

1 Aha. How can I best find out about these levels? They're obviously
the crucial side of important, and I think I'm going to have quite an
emotional time reading them...

2 I think my brain IS just another cell structure.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (The more things change, the more
it's a meme thing)

Phonecalls: 01494 461648 Phights: 10 Riverswood Gardens
High Wycombe
HP11 1HN