RE: virus: MEME UPDATE: To Censor Or Not?

Dave Pape (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 01:43:38 GMT

>If you've read my book, I hardly think it's fair to say I take a narrow
>view of memes' influence on my decisions.

Ah. Well. I, um... I... ah... I read the introduction... I just happen to
think that there's no decision which isn't a competition for your biological
resources between memes.

>>I don't believe in free will.
>Neither do I. Of course, I also don't believe in NO free will.

Eh? Sorry, I'm floundering. Is that Zen?

>>"I" am resource in which memes/ideas interact, like biological
>>organisms in
>>an ecology. What I used to think was "a new idea" is an association
>>existing memes and ideas. Like relationships develop between genetic
>>entities in the world of biology, giving rise to ecological systems.
>How is this an empowering model?

I'm afraid it isn't. Erm... studying memetics can still give the same
behavioural results as if people DID have freewill... meaning that people
might turn off their TVs and start doing different and more exciting
things... but if they do, it will be because memes from your book have won
control of their brainspace, their neural resources, and those memes are
driving THEM.

>>I think what you call "Viruses of the Mind" are really memes that (in
>>view) give rise to behaviours deleterious to individual and social
>>And I think you're led by memes just as much as a Branded Cola Addict:
>Doesn't sound like you've read my book. Viruses of the mind are not
>memes, they are self-replicating cultural artifacts such as cults and
>chain letters. The way they self-replicate is by programming people with

I'd better apologise for not having read it, then. Not that I necessarily
agree with the distinction. Just because I was arguing away without sounding
you out first.

>>When a Coke advert impinges on your brain, just try and stop the idea
>>marketers are trying to manipulate me!" from arising. You can't.
>Actually, you can.

I can't argue with that, because it's just a flat statement of opinion with
no supporting evidence, though I still disagree.

>>And if you
>>convince a Colaholic to stop paying for brands, you haven't taught them
>>think freely- it's just that your transmitted memes have wrested
>>control of
>>your subject/protegee/victim's brain from memes which led them to pay
>>the Coke.
>My aim IS to teach them to think freely. I am all for consciousness!

But does "conscious" = "free"? More to the point, does "thinking driven by
others' memes" necessarily mean "not conscious"? I don't think so. Remember,
the freedom~consciousness equations were derived by theists. I don't want to
take their word for it.

>>If you believe in non-manipulation of thought, how do you justify
>>your own ideas in your website and newsletter? Aren't you trying to
>>make me
>>think like you? Aren't your memes trying to attack your readers'
>>belief-spaces, just like Coke's?
>But Dave, mine are FRIENDLY memes!

Ooooo. But they do the same thing as hostile memes, don't they? Get into
brainspace and grab hold of computing resource... outcompete (maybe) memes
that're already there... and what's more, you get paid for them... we all
know how selfish GENES are, and I don't think memes are any different.

>> I think the only stance for the true
>>memeticist is to be non-prescritive, to play down their emotional
>>to particular memes, and to admit that s/he is nothing more than memes
>>ideas, which will try and gain neural resource from other memes/ideas.
>I covered this in the book, which you should read. Apathy allows bad
>memes to win.

No such thing as bad. No such thing as good. "Good" means "agrees with
my/our memes" and "bad" means "disagrees with my/our memes". The test goes:

Think of a thought you think is bad that you agree with; think of a thought
you think is good, that you don't agree with. Didn't think you could.

>>Sorry if I'm muscling in on the list and offending people; this is my
>>favourite world-view, so I feel fairly strongly and vocal about it, and
>>just found your pages, so I'm excited.
>Welcome to the list! Glad to have you. =)

Wahey! That gave me a little buzz at the end of the posting. I always worry
that email's a great way to make enemies, by coming out and disagreeing with
people straight away.

Who's your UK distributor... ISBN codes etc? Go on. If there isn't one/some,
can we arrange a direct snailmail-for-cash thing? There y'go. All I want to
do is fight you, and you've made another sale. Mind you, I might be even
MORE hostile afterwards than I am now...

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

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