Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #119

XYZ Customer Support (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:04:30 -0700

> From: Chris Martin <>

> > >>Prove that by infecting me with a meme that will be to your
> > >>benefit. Use one of the several principles that are pointed out
> > >>in articles about meme propagation and see if any of them can
> > >>ever possibly apply to me.
> >
> > >Assume an attitude X, which is antagonistic to Y. Any replicators Yr,
> > >which fare well in Y, will probably not fare well in X. This is
> > >because
> > >X uses any exposure to Y, including Yr, to redefine X against being
> > >susceptable to these exposures. The more X is exposed to Yr, then,
> > >the more Xr will be better equipped at remaining X, which is defined >
> >to be ~Y.
> >
> > Here is a perfect example of what it means to think logically but not
> > scientifically. While the logic of this paragraph is impeccable, the
> > precepts are terrible. Just look at all the things that are implied
> > in this paragraph:

> > 1. Memes have evolved to be antagonistic to other memes, implying
> > that memes can be "aware" of other memes (instead of just being plain
> > ol' detrimental or beneficial to each other).

> The paragraph that you were replying to did not imply that Y will
> continue, just that X will. This is weak, but it seemed a suitable
> assumption to make being that you seemed suitably equipped to save
> yourself from gullability.

Are you implying that Y is gullible and X is not? That must mean that
"gullible" means "susceptable to infection". X must not be just merely
anatagonistic to Y, but superiour since it is less likely to be infected
at random. Especially since, according to your logic here, X1 could
not infect X2 either.

> > 3. This paragraph assumes that there are people who exist in this
> > email list that have absolutely no memes in common with anyone else's
> > in this email list. This is contrary to all the overwhelming evidence
> > that exists in the world about archetypes, commonality in symbols and
> > myths, and commonality in religions. Take for example the Mother
> > Archetype. Everyone in this list has it. Sure there are personal
> > differences to the archetype but there are some generic (hence
> > common) qualities to Her as well.

> As anecdotal evidence against your archetype, i present myself. Coming
> from an exremely dysfunctional family, being a "mother" entails no more
> than deciding whose womb developed who.

That is evidence that I am correct since everyone has that
concept of mother within themselves as well. THAT IS the
commonality of what mother is.

> If you are talking about the idea of what a mother "should" be, then
> still no cigar. This person is amoral. If you are talking about what i
> think most people mean by "mother figure", then its gone to the point
> that the original point is no longer supported. A person antagonistic to
> a view can be very clear and accurate as to what people holding that
> view believe. He or she need do no more than give the view a negative
> connotation.

But they will ALWAYS have something in common with the
"mother figure" idea.

> This is not to say that no universal meme exists, just that the
> particular example was bad.

Your misunderstanding here. Let me rephrase that statement of mine
above. What is the probability that ALL of X memes would be
anatagonistic to ALL of Y memes? It even sounds impossible to begin
with. That was bad logic on your part.

> > Since I am bound to have at least one meme in common with all of you
> > in this list, why don't we perform an experiment to see if anyone can
> > infect me with a meme that will be to their benefit. Let's see if any
> > of the principles we all believe about the propagation of memes will
> > work to any degree here or not.

> You're quite sure that it won't happen. So am i. The change could
> _conceivably_ happen, but not likely in a half-hour, or even over
> several months. The time scale would likely be in years, and i doubt any
> here are willing to take it that far. The process would likely involve
> seduction or submission of some sort. It would likely take an effort of
> such magnitude that the government would step in.

But I was supposedly such an easy target. I guess I proved that
idea wrong.

> Perhaps. I was even a bit unsure of my Christianity analogy. But what i
> had in mind was the type of idea that is conspiracy laden. That alien
> abductions happen is almost not even questioned in many circles.
> Attempts to disprove something that fail actually do nothing to the
> truth of the item, but it does make people more comfortable with the
> belief (this perhaps has a lineage in common with falsificationism).
> Self sealing beliefs, then, become stronger. One could almost view
> Christianity as such a belief (reality is out to trick you--the devil
> tempts you from the truth, etc.).

Now you are really going out in left field. "Self-sealing beliefs"? So
now all of X memes are "self-sealing beliefs"? There is a technical
term for this...Oh! Yea! is called "grasping at straws"!