Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #117

XYZ Customer Support (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 22:05:11 -0700

> From: John P. Schneider <>

>For instance, the discussions of NLP earlier on were interesting:
>people are trying to 'make stuff happen' there. It may be
>sensationalist, but if it could actually yield results.... I am
>always interested in results, and even the possibility of results.

Some aspects of NLP has already been put to practical use and has been
verified. Although some of it is still open to sensationalism, it had
been applied to hypnotism and Rational Behaviour Therapy with
excellent results.

>2. If we decide to go with truth, we do so because it is useful.
>There is little scientific value in that observation, but that
>doesn't mean that I don't dig it. It has considerable metaphysical
>value to me. Unfortunately, metaphysics is largely ineffable, so
>it's hard for me to explain that value, other than to say that I
>really dig zen.

Carl Jung made the observation that everyone has a "religious
function" or a need to have a religion. There is something about
religion (and metaphysics) that appeals to people. Richard Brodie
calls it "pushing buttons" but I think that is too generic. I mean,
is the desire to mate up, get hungry, or fight/flight from danger the
same button pushing as say the word "Kung Fu" might be to a martial
arts enthusiast? In one case the buttons are preprogrammed at birth
and the other is developed by conscious will. Some buttons are
accidentally (read: subconsciously) programmed in, like the
"mother-in-law" button or the "fuck you XYZ" button. Everyone has a
"sex" button but not everyone has a "kung fu" button. The real "sex"
button cannot be pushed, but since sex doesn't have the same meaning
to everyone, parts of it can be pushed. In the same way, religion is
like sex, it is a drive we are born with that can only be pushed in
an indirect way.

The whole reason for this diatribe just now, is because I just want
to say that we need to separate religion and sex and everything from
memetics so we view it in it's unadulterated state. There is nothing
wrong with metaphysics or speculation because humans have a need to
do such "nonsense" things. BUT, we have to separate the subjectively
involved observer from the observation or we will never be able to
make progress in the "science" of will forever remain a
fad then. We have to distance ourselves from the thing that controls
us or it will continue to shape our thoughts in such a way that we
will never be able to "get a handle" on them. They will be like smoke
and mirrors.

>>How can we work to make memetics have greater appeal to the
>>purely logical, scientific thinker?

In other words, how can we infect purely logical scientific thinkers
with memes? Those are pretty hard buttons to find much less push, but
all hope is not lost. If you want nerds to pay attention to memetics,
you have to have results. Something very noticable and not trivial.
There must not be any other known explanation for that result and it
would be fantastic if an article like "Memetics: The science of the
nerds" appeared in _Sci American_ or _Science_ based on those

>"Can we use memetics to make sound predictions governing any
>objective experimental situations?"

Science requires alot of hard work, doesn't it? I can understand why
people hate to think scientifically but love to think logically
because logic is easy and science is a painstaking, methodical

>>Then you are arguing about pure cosmetics-- the packaging should not
>>bother you if you pay attention. Yes-- we can have a meme list that
>>appeals to logical poeple, to black people to Americans, to gays and
>>lesbians, to adult children of black American lesbians....... but we
>>would only be propogating the very behaviour we seek to analyse--
>>memetic engineering.

You would encouraging the opposite behaviour. You must cater to
people who can distance them from the thing they live with and love.
You are encouraging prejudiced thinking rather than progressive

>>How can we do this in such a way as to not lose the (supposed)
>>appeal of CoV to non-scientific thinkers? Possible?

It has already been done.

>You just rejected my attempt to do that, and now you are leading
>back towards the destrutive path.

There is no such thing as a failure John, because all failures lead
to success. To give up now would only add to the delay of the
inevitable success that persistance always brings. Failures are only
the stepping stones to success.