Re: virus: Re: Anti-Virus Protection

Dave Pape (
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 00:22:03 GMT

At 14:31 03/02/97 EST, David R wrote:
> One fundamental choice people have is to be honest or dishonest-to
figure out
>reality or evade reality. No one can force anyone else to be honest or
>dishonest. For instance, when I showed why the ideology promoted by the Church
>of Virus is bogus, some people chose to ignore me. There's nothing I can do
>about that. However, just as a parasite is dependent on its host, the dishonest
>members of CoV are dependent on honest members being duped and confused by such
>dopey ideologies. For most of these dishonest members, the big payoff is a
>drug-like high of manipulating others. However, for the few most cleverly
>dishonest members, the big payoff is financial-their *livelihood* depends on
>manipulating others.

Richard? Feel that high yet? I saw your eyes rolling back in their sockets.
"There's someone feeling a full-body mental orgasm," I thought.

I personally DISAGREE with the idea of CoV actually being a structured
church, and came here to talk about about how memes work. To me, it's David
R who sounds more like he's pencilling his role in the new Testament!

Richard's written a book about memes. I agree with some of his ideas (many
of his memes impinge on my memetic ecology without substantial
dismantling/re-organisation of that ecology). I disagree with some others.
We discuss it. He's hardly Koresh.

> Neocheaters are typically down-to-Earth ordinary looking people who play a
>role of "external authority" for other people and then manipulate those people
>while pretending to benefit them. Examples of neocheaters include: all major
>politicians, almost all clergymen, many psychotherapists who manipulate their
>clients' emotions so that they feel dependent on therapy, various social
>professors who poison students' minds by advocating bogus nihilistic ideologies
>(like notions of language creating reality), bankers who make money through
>government frauds, lawyers who stir up cases where none should exist, and
>journalists who use facts out of context.

Yeh. So... Richard has an idea about how memes might work. He... he...
erm... he emails it to... erm... a /memes mailing list/.

And... erm... we about it.

Yup. I think that's what you're getting at.

> To give a clear example of neocheating techniques, let's take a look at
>of Richard Brodie's responses to my last post when I identified why the
>is a better forum for rational ideas than the forums of the non-cyberspace
>world. Now, of course we have an absurd situation in which people are arguing
>over the internet against the idea that the internet promotes rational
>discussion, but let's leave that aside. The following interactions
demonstrate 2
>commonly used neocheating techniques-1) posing as an external higher authority

I think you PERCEIVE this more intensely than it's felt. Remember, whenever
you encounter, eg, one of Richard's postings, your brain will, because it's
an associative device, give rise to the meme that Richard's written a book
about memes (see how much stress that title's causing, Mr B?). So, when
Richard's posting-memes impinge on your headspace, also will come the memes
"This guy's an author on the topic" and "This guy feels confident in his
expertise about the topic". So, memetically and associatively, I'd EXPECT
you to read Richard's postings as if he's some big authority figure.

Perhaps you perceive a lot of "wannabe-authority" postings through a sort of
perceptual filter?

Remember also that humans are tribal animals, and as such are genetically
specified to be acutely sensitive to seniority dynamics.

I always like to step back from suddenly exploding arguments about seniority
and power abuse, and think "whoa, Remember that humans are tribal animals,
and as such are genetically specified to be acutely sensitive to seniority

>and 2)distorting context.

Unless you transfer your ideas absolutely perfectly to me, I'm never going
to understand (and therefore respond) to your exact context, am I? In fact,
how can I know exactly how you're thinking if I am not you? Because the
context of what you think is all your other thoughts, isn't it? So, whenever
you get an answer from another person, yuo're bound to get some distortion
of context, unless the language of the answer is too vague to show it.

> I wrote:
>>> When people interact in cyberspace, they are usually alone,
>>>independently, without the influence of a collective group.
> Richard wrote:
>>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?

> He's saying that his position has merit simply because people look up to him
>since he gives lectures all over the country. Does this make sense?

He isn't. What he's saying is trying to agree with you partially, by saying
that he's trying very hard to spread the meme coding for the idea that "the
evolution of ideas will proceed more quickly as a result of the emergence of
the Internet".

His worry about thinking alone is that memetic interaction, by definition (a
meme being, roughly, some unit of information which spreads via culture)
will be DISCOURAGED by people not thinking with others. And anyway, if
you're communicating ideas with other people via the Net... you're NOT alone
cognitively, are you?

> Then he distorts context. The context I was coming from was that non-cyber
>forums discourage independent thinking, unlike cyber forums which encourage it.
>Does this have anything to do with being a life-long hermit?
> Here's another example of distorting context:
>I wrote:
>>> 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".
>Richard wrote:
>>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
> The context of what I was saying had nothing to do with courtrooms or
>political debates per se. I was making a point that on the 'net you cannot
>an argument by having a "quick comeback" or because the other person has no
>to express what they think. This is different than a lunchroom conversation,
>where you can easily say, with insincere politeness, "Thank you for
>contributing. I gotta get going."
> Tad made a good point that on the internet, people of like minds can find
>each other. The Church of Virus is becoming divided into 2 different camps. And
>in case you don't know it, this is WAR!!!

Wrong. What could you possibly expect of a field of ideas which is just
starting up? Is this not the very nature of memes?

David, each of us carries a dynamically-evolving structure of memes, ideas
from which emerge our personalities. When we come together to discuss our
ideas, some of those memes are transmitted, encoded in the list, and decoded
by the people that read the list.

Those memes then impinge on the memetic structures which own the "cognitive
territory" of the readers' minds. Some of those memes will be in competition
with the dominant memes in that reader's head. There will be a fight...
maybe the reader will experience "some doubt about what they think", which
is what I think people feel when groups of incompatible memes compete for
cognitive resource in a single head.

If two people are in disagreement, each has two options: carry on arguing
until both memetic structures have been dismantled enough and reorganised
enough so that a common set of memes can be established, or to leave the
argument and stop talking. This way, the two memetic structures are left
less changed, but with less potential for future memetic transfer between
them (and let's face it, this transfer is memetic sex, isn't it?)

So, say more and more memes start to be posted on this list... well, it's
BOUND to start turning up disputes, isn't it? And, check out what happens:
presumably soon factions and subthreads will have been formed, with some
individuals ignoring certain threads because they're from people that they
disagree with...

This is the way of all memetic interaction, David. And don't say that we
should be discouraging it; if we are to transmit our most precious memes,
disagreement and faction are what WILL HAPPEN.

PS What's the number of subscribers look like over time for the list?

Dave Pape
The memetic equivalent of a G3 bullpup-design assault rifle blowing a full
clip at my opponent. (Alex Williams 1996)

Phonecalls: 01494 461648 Phights: 10 Riverswood Gardens
High Wycombe
HP11 1HN