RE: virus: C of V: Another Religion

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 08:50:42 -0800

David Rosdeitcher wrote:

> Here are some reasons why I think that cyberspace is a forum where
>good ideas
>outcompete bad ones.
> When people interact in cyberspace, they are usually alone,
>independently, without the influence of a collective group.

I completely disagree with this one. I've been traveling around the
country predicting that the Internet will speed up memetic evolution by
creating many more pockets of self-reinforcing conversation (such as
this one, by the way). I'm also a bit disturbed by your implicit
approval of thinking alone, without the influence of others. Does your
model of a supremely sane human being depict a life-long hermit?

> They are interacting by communicating back and forth as equals, as
>to a lecture scenario in which one or more people are dictating to
>others what
>to think.

Most mailing lists and newsgroups are dominated by a few individuals. In
contrast, in "real life" I have personal interactions with many people
one-on-one in a day.

> Ideas themselves are the main focus, as opposed to say, pleasing an
>authority, getting a degree, keeping a job, joining the club, being

Nonsense. People have agendas here like they do anywhere. You just see a
higher percentage of smart people here because it hasn't fully caught on
yet. Just wait. The ideas people discuss are driven by evolutionary
psychology and mind viruses unless people have raised their
consciousness to at least Level 3.

And people are more important than ideas.

> People would be in a more rational state if they are neither exalted
>intimidated by their 'status', unlike various institutions where some
>people are
>"undisputed experts" and others are "ignorant proletariat".

You seem to place an irrational value on rationality. Why?

> Ideas are more open to challenge and can be looked at from a wide
>variety of

True,. But the flip side is that "good" ideas are attenuated by the mass
of crap.

> Ideas can be edited, modified and developed much more easily than,
>say, a
>courtroom or political debate where people who sound best when they are
>put 'on
>the spot' can "win".

Granted, but I must say I don't spend much of my life in courtrooms or
political debates. Lunch conversation works just fine for idea

> This situation, in which a word is coined and defined, and then
>people see
>things they didn't notice before, can imply that the act of creating
>defining words leads to creating and defining reality. This would make
>seem like a very subjective phenomena. Furthermore, this new term in
>question-the meme-happens to be a unit that influences notions about
>reality and
>has no regard for objective reality.

Yes! You get it!

> Consequently, many people in the growing memetics community have
>embraced a
>school of thought which holds the idea that one's view of "external
>reality" is
>merely a result of one's language and that reality is a subjective
>experience.This school of thought, popular in the 1920's and known as
>positivism', calls all of our beliefs 'linguistic conventions'. This
>is self-refuting since, it too would be just a linguistic convention
>and not
>worth serious consideration. So, how do we clarify a confusing
>situation where
>it appears that language can change reality? With the philosophy of

You seem to place a great value on consistency. Why is that? It seems
irrational to me.

Why do you jump from "linguistic convention" to "not worth serious
consideration"? Non sequitur.

Believe me, language can absolutely change the reality of your
experience of life. Remember how your life changed when you discovered
Objectivism? People go through that all the time, only it's not always
Objectivism. Sometimes is Jesus, or Scientology, or Kurt Cobain. All
these mind viruses are composed of language - of memes.
> Objectivism rests on 3 axioms-existence, consciousness, and
>identity. These
>axioms are implicit in all knowledge and require no proof or
>explanation. Unlike
>mathematical axioms, these philosophical axioms have no alternative
>since an
>alternative would imply a contradiction such as 'existence does not
>exist' or
>refute one's own statement, such as "I am not conscious".

Why is "existence does not exist" a contradiction? How about "living
does not live"? "Sucking does not suck"? I see no contradiction.

> Existence implies only one reality-objective reality. Consciousness
>is valid
>to perceive existence,and it perceives existence directly.
>Consciousness does
>not simply perceive a subjective definition of existence, but existence
>(even though each person has a different point of view, has limited
>different sense organs, biases, etc -a different experience, they are
>perceiving existence directly.) Since consciousness is valid, the
>senses (means
>of consciousness)are valid. If the senses are valid, then concept
>which is a function of the mind integrating various sense perceptions,
>is valid.

I'll simply say that this chain of reasoning, while a coherent
explanation of the memes you are infected with, is neither self-evident
nor mainstream. I suggest Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" if you
haven't already read it. It's available from the Amazon.Com Memetics

> Forming concepts (like book, table or meme) involves a method of
>identification or classification according to attributes that one
>These attributes can be anything, so many identifications and
>are possible. Such concepts could be those that have existed for a long
>such as 'book' or they could be original identifications-like when
>identified the 'meme'.

Yes, you get it again!

> This is an example of how objectivism can clarify situations.
>However, as
>Richard mentioned, no idea system including objectivism is the "be all
>end all"
>and no one has the "ultimate truth". Objectivism does not make people
>and many objectivists are not doing things that are creative or
>successful. But
>in a sense, objectivism is like an anti-virus program that can clean
>impurities in thinking.

Eastern philosophy talks about a "purity trap." Don't make the purpose
of your life to clean out impurities in your thinking or yourself. You
cannot finish such a task, and you'll miss out on life while you're
doing it.

> How I got into objectivism-I might get into that later-But, like
>it has to do with new identifications. -David

Please do - I'm interested!

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?