RE: virus: Level 3 (Was Meme Update #4)

Dave Pape (
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 02:16:33 GMT

At 16:18 17/02/97 -0800, Richard wrote:

>I don't think, Reed that you can "go home again." Reed, some part of me
>misses that comfortable feeling of powerlessness I used to have when I
>was trapped in the box of my own memetic model. But the other parts
>quickly beat it into submission. =)

Oh yeh, and this isn't because AT THAT TIME such a memetic strategy is more
beneficial to you (thus selected for) than sticking to one meme-structure I
suppose? Did you mention level 3 to Dawkins? If so, how long were you in
hospital? ;)

>>Why did you find it necessary to combine a discussion of memetics with
>>play for moral reletivism? Do you see an understanding of memetic and
>>reletvism as being intimately connected?

>I'm not a proponent of moral relativism. I don't even know what it is.

I think it's something like "there're no absolute moral standards by which
actions should be judged."

If that's close, then I believe in moral relativism and think that it IS
closely linked to concepts of memes, because-

1 Moral relativism's pretty obviously what people actually PRACTISE
when you observe their behaviour- being nicer/more faithful/less dishonest
with some people than others, and allowing some people to get away with
things that they won't let others get away with.

2 Memetics is compatible with this, in that it can be beneficial to be
cooperative with the people you hang out with (they may well reciprocate)
but to cheat people you only ever meet once (chances of you getting benefit
from them in return is less, chanc of them CATCHING you isn't that high either).

Example: my girlfriend Alison and I trying to rent a flat in Reading through
lettings agencies. Basically, they know you're talking to other agents, and
will most likely get a place through someone else within a couple of weeks,
so it's not really worth their while (statistically) putting themselves out
to help you until you start giving them cash. It IS worthwhile the agents
being lovely and helpful to their mates, though, because their mates may
well be in a position to help THEM soon... possibly (birds of a feather
flocking together) through allowing group memetic processing.

3 The memes in my brainspace about memetics have a lot in common with
the memes in my headspace about morals.

Dave Pape
Limit the Fun. Prescribe the Fun. DESTROY THE FUN!
-(North West England Conservative Party slogan, 1994-1995)

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