Re: virus: The Greeks would be Geeks

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:22:54 -0800

Dave Pape in the name of Jar 148 and 148a wrote:

>Objectivism: Well-formed; I personally think it's a steaming crock of
>gibbon's piss, because it doesn't help me describe what people DO. It's
>advice on what they SHOULD DO.
>Memetics: Embryonic; I think it lets me explain how human beings
>ACTUALLY BEHAVE when they interact with each other. To me, much more rewarding.

It's interesting how different perceptions we have. I am not going to use
any memetic tricks to convince you to "my side". Frankly, I don't care.
It's not that I don't like you... I like your sense of humor, creative
spontaneity, but I am not going to "save" you (or anybody else), as I am a
perfect egoist (as people like Ayn Rand suggested -- we all are). The
reason I am getting involved here is that I want to understand your way of
thinking (meme patterns in your ecology, if you like) so I can better
understand people around me, people I am going to hang on to for the rest of
my sentence on Earth (the life sentence we all have, you know). That's why
I am interested what you "really" think.

>From my perspective, objectivism is very much about what people DO. If you
take the famous three objectivists' axioms (I still don't understand the
difference between 1 and 3, and David R. was not very helpful, so as far as
I am concerned, two would be enough) they exactly describe a human tendency
to masturbate instead of the "real thing" (and some extremists may even
claim that the "real" thing does not exist at all).

Many people prefer to be in an artificial world of books, alcohol, or drugs
rather than live their real lives. Many people prefere to follow a religion
or a guru instead of their own thinking. Memetics can be used as a very
good escape from reality: "let's assume nothing is real and have fun all
night". Great way of "spending" time and -- sadly enough -- escaping from a
real intellectual adventure. Of course, memetics can also be used as a very
useful tool to learn about the world.

There is no way to get a baby if you are convinced masturbation is "much
more rewarding". Getting a baby requires work, aside from the fun part,
lots of work. Understanding the world requires work. If you are afraid of
work you can say that having a real baby is "a steaming crock of
gibbon's piss" and pretend you are pregnant anyway (ha, ha, ha). This may
be a message for you from MemeCentral that you are afraid of living your
real life and afraid of learning what memes really are. Objectivism may
help you with it.

It says: trust me for a moment, assume that reality exists and that you are
able to learn it, work for some time on it, then see how much fun you will
have (and pay me if you like, or not -- 100% satisfaction guaranteed, no
prepayment needed). As if it was saying (in memetically-genetical terms):
do not pretend a man can be pregnant (even if he misses his period), you
*are* capable of becoming a real father, it IS hard work, but you CAN do it.
Then you make a decision if you want a real baby or the "pleasure part only"
is enough for you.

I wrote:
>>I am sure we still don't know what memetics really is. As we have
>> no clear concepts we are still in a stage of adolescent masturbation
>>by "flexing meme-space on the fly".

Dave wrote:
>Until we stop arguing about it, we won't know; by this definition,
>we don't yet know what matter is, what time is, how perception works,
>or what the relationship is between perception and (whatever we mean
>by) reality. Because scientists and philosophers still argue about those

I don't see any arguing (Richard had a very good idea of those two Dr.Jekyll
and Mr.Hyde characters, that's all :-)). This discussion may seem hopeless
at times but it does not prove that any attempt to find anything is
hopeless. If we assume it is hopeless we will not get anywhere for sure!
This is what Ayn Rand's second axiom is suggesting: assume it is possible
and see if it works. And it DOES work. If scientists and philosophers were
"only" arguing we would still be in caves.

>But as Reed (I think) says, why give a shit? The bottom line is, we get a
>buzz from trying to model what we see of the cultural world in memetic
>terms, no matter how hopeless we know that endeavour to be, because in doing
>so we emerge (hopefully) as more richly tiered and organised memetic
>structures (personalities).

That's right. In other words, no matter how hopeless it may seem, let's
*assume* it makes sense (reality exists and we are capable of learning it)
and see if we "get a buzz" from doing it. And we do get a buzz from
discovering the reality!

BTW: I don't have anything against jokes and masturbation. My point is:
when one is having fun masturbating it does not make sense to pretend one is
making babies, because it's simply not true (unless one jokes, of course).

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159