Re: virus: Re: Manipulation 101 Lesson 10

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 12:19:41 -0800

David R. wrote:
>Eva wrote:
>>I do have a quibble with David R.'s usage of the term 'virus' here;
>>someone else mentioned it earlier too. All memes act like viruses, and if
>>one is to be a called a virus they all should, not just the ones we happen
>>not to approve of.
>Eva is saying that ALL memes, whether or not we approve of them, act like
>viruses. So, there needs to be a distinctive term for memes we don't approve
>of. Any suggestions? -David

The analogy genes-memes: genes are NOT viruses. Genes carry information to
make organisms which can live (and feed themselves) by utilizing solar
energy, water, and minerals (these are most plants) or by eating
(destroying) other living organisms (animals). Viruses carry information
how to destroy living organisms in order to replicate. Objectively there is
nothing wrong with viruses, it's just another way of living. From our human
point of view we treat genes as "good" because they make organisms which can
"build", and viruses only "destroy".
Calling all memes "viruses" looses the distinction of building and
destroying. Why don't we call memes -- memes?

In the CoV Memetic Lexicon, by Glenn Grant, the term virus is not even
there. The word virus does not appear in the ten-page long index of
"Thought Contagion" by Aaron Lynch. Richard Dawkins in "Viruses of the
Mind" talks about *deadly* ideas which spread like viruses.

The deadly notion that ALL ideas are "dinky little viruses" is produced only
in one temple in Seattle. You can get infected there for only $29 (plus $5
registration fee). Fine cognac and cigars are also offered until the wee
hours afterwards (the ad doesn't say if they are included in the price).
Ah, life.

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