virus: _Virus of the Mind_

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 00:53:26 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 26 Feb 1997, Dave Pape wrote:

> >(Remember, I still haven't read Brodie's book, I may be way off the mark.
> >Richard, you are very popular here in town. Its been two weeks and I'm
> >still only 32nt in line for the 13 copies of "Virus of the Mind" floating
> >around in the Seattle Public Library system!)

I only finished it an hour ago, and I've already attempted infection of a
host in Australia.
I had been figuring I'd get around to buying a copy when I got to Seattle,
maybe from Richard himself, but then I had half an hour to kill and went
into my favorite bizarre bookstore, Hungry Head (the one that sells the
Anarchist Cookbook, Hothead Paisan, and Modern Primitives), and there it
was, between Aleister Crowley and the fractals. So I bought it. They
didn't have _Getting Past OK_ on hand, but said they could order it.

Now I understand Richard's and others' distinction between memes and mind
viruses: A mind virus is a structure, made up of memes, whose design
(intentional or evolutionary) causes it to self-replicate using minds as
hosts. A single meme may proliferate, but most do not contain "copy me"
instructions in themselves, only the potential for being copied.
Apologies to those to whom this was obvious, but maybe my presentation
will do something for someone else who's fuzzy about it.

So, Richard: What's your life purpose, anyway, if I may ask? Is it
spreading memetics, or is that part of a larger goal, or even a sideline?

Oh, and I also wondered why you'd not included _Metamagical Themas_
(likely my favorite book) in the recommended reading, when you had
included _Godel, Escher, Bach_, and MT deals explicitly with memetics
while GEB doesn't.

I'm a little tired from reading something so self-referential (maybe I
should have finished rereading GEB first, instead of nesting them). I
should sleep more and improve my resistance. My friends, btw, find you
entertaining and I will dose them tomorrow when I bring the book to band

going to bed, to further her life goals which are still hazy but surely
require sleep.