virus: Howdy!

Dan Plante (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 18:27:46 -0800

Thought I'd introduce myself as a quasi-newbie (been reading these posts
for awhile), and relate a weird experience I had today.

I spent a few hours last night poring over the pages at the Principia
Cybernetica site ( ) to bone up on this
"memetics" stuff. Intriuging. It seemed a fairly obvious consequence of
the basic and ubiquitous process of evolution (fundamentally: variation and
selection in a complex system), but nonetheless a useful tool of abstraction
to simplify interpreting very complex emergent properties.

Anyway, it's lunchtime at work, so I grab my smokes and the sci-fi novel I'd
bought months back and had been meaning to read. Around the middle of the
third chapter, the anti-hero protagnonist starts recalling memories of
previuos lives, one of which was as a mercenary in the "Meme Wars". I thought
'Naw, couldn't be....just a coincidental sci-fi buzz word....', but as I
read further, memetics was explained within the story-line, complete with
references to Richard Dawkins. I almost choked on my smoke.
Twilight Zone stuff.

In case you're curious, the title is "Kaleidoscope Century", and the author
is John Barnes. Seems like a competent writer (so far).

Anybody else read this?


P.S. Just in case you don't know about this book and want to run out and get
it, I should warn you that it contains some extraordinarily sick misogynistic
shit. If you deplore this kind of stuff being used as a literary tool, pass it