Re: virus: Re: prohuman

Dave Pape (
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 13:28:24 GMT

At 23:56 18/02/97 -0700, Stephen wrote:
>D Pape wrote:
>Hey, actually, I think this is one of the reasons why I don't myself use
>Virus analogy very often. There seems around here to be a tendency to
>anti-human underpants "mind-viruses" and pro-human underpants "the
>M-jargon-word-thing-object-idea-tag-stuff". I'm interested in viewing
>the "gun down a shopful of people" idea (if it spreads from person to
>person) as being the same sort of process as the

>Hi Dave--
>Cool suprmarket observation (from you or Peter--) Would that be a virus

One of a continuing series. I say, go into any multi-person situation, and
think "let's watch the memetic transfer here- not just the speech, the
copying, the books, the screens"... and your head will implode.

>Re: the paragraph above-- I guess I don't carry the same distinction as
>you.I was not aware of this development in the jargon. I thought all
>ideas were viral. I didn't know that a virus moral imperative had

I agree about all (culturally transmitted) ideas being viral... I thought
there was this tendency to say "adverts are like viruses, learning to want
to kill people are like viruses and these viruses are eating away at our
brains," while playing down the idea that Scientific Method and the idea "be
beautiful to each other" spread just as virally.

>What is a Pro-human meme? Pro for which humans? I thought the virus
>model allows us to address all information as neutral and understand how
>it is transferred.

Prohuman would be one which... allows the person or group expressing it some
advantage over people NOT expressing it, I guess- an anti-human meme being
one which puts a person/group at physical/social risk. Pro- and anti- the
genes of whoever expresses them, I think is near the bottom line.

>My hat is off to you for wanting to explore the "gun down a shop full of
>people" meme with the same attention and neutrality as a more "pro
>human" idea. (please explain pro-human... I have no idea what you mean
>by this)

Did I get close to explaining myself?

>But I have a feeling that you already host a number of
>mutations of the "gun down" meme which have been tempered by your
>culture, gender, myth-history and other social determinants. (A very
>important one being the countermeme- the criminality of such an act and
>the subsequent loss of freedom and personal rights if punished.)

>The safer/yet still risky mutation that you hold is the "Make a joke
>about gunning down" or "refer to gunning down in an environment that is
>unlike a supermarket" All of which contain the meme of gunning down--
>but the context changes the message. You are an actor of the Virus
>Theatre :) (had to plug this in... it has been sitting on one of my back
>burners for too long.)

Hey peace. Wouldn't have transmitted it if this was a mailing list called
"Pro-Gun Lobby Against Shops", of course.

But heck, doesn't "gun these mothers down" go through /everyone's/ heads
down Tesco's on a Saturday afternoon? What stops us is not that we don't
have these aggressive memes, but that memes like "I don't want to be killed
in reprisal" and "I don't want to go to prison" outcompete them. Also, that
our histories of being punished for antisocial behaviours provoke an
unpleasant limbic rush when we think very antisocial things... depressing
the memes active at the time. Maybe? Any Thoughts?

Dave Pape
Limit the Fun. Prescribe the Fun. DESTROY THE FUN!
-(Southport & Formby Round Table Association slogan, 1994-1995)

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