virus: Manip 101 Lesson 8

David Rosdeitcher (
21 Feb 97 14:11:20 EST

Lesson 8- Leaving statements by others that are unclear and ambiguous, alone
in their unclear state, instead of seeking further clarity. A good technique to
manipulate others is to, instead of seeking clarity on ambiguous statements,
leave the statement as unclear and open to a wide range of interpretation. That
way you can make your own "reasonable interpretation" that would give you an
advantage over others. An example is as follows:
Richard wrote:
>>Good crisis memes! However, if we ever create a "major epidemic" from
>>this ol' list I'll be more surprised than anyone.
I wrote:
>Good form of evasion! However, I agree, you won't create a "major epidemic". I
>will not tell you why. But your best bet is to hire Derek Pape to shoot me. He
>has a gun, remember?
That statement can mean many things. What I meant was I have a secret plan (a
business idea) to stop them from creating a major epidemic in which their only
solution would be violence. Their interpretation was that I was planning some
sort of violent attack on them which would, of course, stop their memes from
Ken Pantheists wrote:
>What stops us is not that we don't
>have these aggressive memes, but that memes like "I don't want to be
>in reprisal" and "I don't want to go to prison" outcompete them.

>Also-- there's the unpleasant rush of realizing that you become
>gun-downable (not necessarily in retribution) once you participate in
>the spread of the meme.

Contrast this to a response from Dave Pape, who sought further clarity, saying
in response to one of my other aggressive sounding posts:
>I have no wish to become any more aggressive, so will stop responding to
>your posts until I'm satisfied that your post was not genuine.
In which I told him I was sorry for getting carried away.

It was an ingenious move on the part of certain memeticists to withdraw from the
battle. What they are implying is that when Tad and I, 2 objectivists, dominate
CoV, it is not because objectivism is outcompeting memetics, but because there
are these memes called 'inhibitor memes' which are blocking the memeticists from
posting. Very clever!
However, what this situation really shows, is that anyone's irrationality can
be used against them. I am not always rational and I make mistakes in my posts
by not clarifying or being over-aggressive. By purposely leaving such errors
alone and open to a wide range of interpretation, many manipulators gain control
over others.
-David Rosdeitcher