virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #119

Ken Pantheists (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 01:43:01 +0000


You wrote:
If memetics follows its own rules or makes them up as it goes along,
the memetics would seem to be existing on level -1 right now. It is a
step backwards for mankind to start accepting things on faith or just
because they have value or they are useful. These are all things the
Catholic Church taught people to believe during the Dark Ages..

First of all, let me get this out of the way. I don't take well to being
called inattentive just because I don't see things the way you do.

You tend to set up hoops that others must jump through in order to
converse with you. You started the digression into animal dreams, no
-one else did. You try to disarm people by writing personal barbs and
then respond badly when the same is done to you.

However I can still enjoy a good debate, but only as long as it is

Now-- to the point at hand.

You don't appear to see memetics as a critical tool. (Which is weird
becuase I think you are a natural for being a critic-- you like to punch
holes in everything--- and that's exactly what memetics does)

I risk being a hypocrit by saying that you, sir, are inattentive.
You have missed a *very important* point.
Memetics *expressly* discourages with 100% of every fibre of its being,
down to the last crispy morsel-- the acceptance of **ANYTHING** on faith

Every thought, principle idea is ripe for the shredding.

You are trapped in the sticky web of judging and discarding.

But it doesn't explain anything. What good is a model if it doesn't
explain anything? The only insight that memetics offers into racism
is that "racism is meme infection". It says nothing *specifically*
about how it started or why it continues to propagate or how it might
be stopped.
Well, after we determine that it is a meme infection, we can't be lazy
and just say "done! that's figured out, on to the next thing-- what
fancy name shall I call this?...hmmm"

You say to yourself that if it is like an infection how is it
transmitted? What makes a healthy environment for racism? and, above
all, if racism is an infection then there must be antibodies to fight
it. What is an effective meme that counters racism? You can engineer one
if you understand how racism works and flourishes.

So, it actually tells us a lot if you are willing to do the field work
and sit down with it.

It wasn't a prophesy since it isn't a prediction. I was describing
what life was like before the scientific method.
BTW and totally off topic-- prophecy is not prediction it is revelation.

What is "hard" art? Are you making things up? Are you trying to imply
that I can't appreciate art because I won't agree with your poor
analogies? Guess again then!
You have taken what I said and turned it into a personal attack when
none was intended. I have never, and will not start now, hold anything
over or against a person who has a different area of specialization. I
have come to expect that from other members of this list because of
their generousity to me when I have been unclear on some things.

In your next post you stated:
You are implying that scientist, sociologists, political theorists
could not be as "open-minded" as you which is just conceitedness. You
aren't open-minded to memetics, you are gullible.
I don't see the connection between this and what I said.

My intended point was that on an e-mail list, one can overcome some of
the inhibitions and social structures that prevent people from disparate
areas of study from getting together and just "hashing out" ideas.

My concern was against your exlusive vision of the list, and that I
should learn to be more of a scientist.

I am not gullible. I am not an easy score XYZ: neither are the other
members of this list.

If you read some of our past threads you would see that.

Because what other people "find" valuable isn't the same as what they
*should* find valuable.
I can relate to that fire-in-belly.
One of your redeeming qualities in my books.

I just wish you weren't so ornory, rude and patronizing.

If you weren't such a prick, we'd be friends.

If your biggest bone is our use of the word science-- well, I don't care
if we use it or not.

I know of people in the art world who shudder to think of textiles and
pottery as art. I guess you're kind of like them.

It's funny how you put so much energy into working out what memetics is
not rather than focussing on how it works.

As a matter of fact- why don't we just stop using the word.

(I don't know how helpful that will be to your cause of making this list
more appealing to scientists.... probably wouldn't help)

Hey... I just thought of something... You know how language sometimes
defines a group of people? Well, maybe it's been called a science
because the first people who started talking about it were in that
science crowd? But now that it is being released into the many channels
and disciplines-- it may change and accumulate characteristics from
other areas.

>From what I understand (forgive me if I haven't been paying *ENOUGH*
attention to you- which I'm beginning to think is impossible) You think
memes are a good idea -- since you believe in them, but that memetics is
a load of tripe because it calls itself a science. Well, I'd be the
first to say that it's probably not wholly a science-- it's not wholly
sociology or art either--

Could it be that we are all so stuck in our own corners so deeply that
when a good idea comes along we are shocked, dismayed, angered,
bewildered that it actually crosses disciplines? Wasn't there some point
in history when all human thought and endeavour was put toward one or a
short list of ends?

I *have* been paying attention to you XYZ. And the one consistent thing
that comes from your posts is this name-calling. "science-not-science"

You remind me of that guy on the cereal commercial who says... "It's NOT
OATMEAL" and then chomps down a great whopping spoonful of cereal.

>Memetics is science in the same way that Magritte's painting is a

And your example of an analogy is as a chicken is to a dog house.
Well, I kind of like my analogy. I worked on it and i put a lot of
thought into it. I liked it enough to post it in public and I still
stand by it.

I think it explains how sometimes you can re-arrange conventions and
archetypes to stimulate a new perception.

I thought that was one of the things the arts and sciences shared.

Have a happy holiday.

  Ken Pantheists