virus: Level 3

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 11:32:15 -0500

>From: Richard Brodie
>Reed wrote:
>>If Level 3 thinking is beyond "memes" of what is it composed...or does
>>it have no structure?
>ALL thinking is beyond memes. You've read Consciouness Explained. Level
>3 is a different mode of thought. Level 1 is irrational. Level 2 is
>rational. Level 3 is beyond that.

I'll have to think about this statement for a while to see if I understand it.

Dennett describes the complex meme of "conciousness" as a "virtual machine"
that we keep running is our heads. As I read it he seemed to be implying
that this was a useful delusion or a "good trick".

Let me try to synthesise: Dennett (and others) insist that we must have
heritable mechanisms allowing us to rapidly assimilate language. One we
learn the code we have opened our minds to infection by memes orders of
magnitude more complicated than could be transmitted/created without it.

One of these memes is "conciousness", the virtual machine that most brains
run. Are you saying is that this is a "virus of the mind" which is
infecting us? That conciousness itself is not necessary? I have
contemplated this, but not to any effect.

>>How do you know you aren't merely infected with a
>>mind virus that has adapted to your discriminators so well that it
>>mimics your mental immune system...and is thus invisible?
>I always go back to the question of am I living the life I want to live.
>If the answer to that is "yes" I figure I'm in good shape.

This is a satisfying answer? After you write a book about the ways people
are manipulated without being aware of it? Do you have some particularly
effective introspection mechanism? Is this a flip response?

Again, your self-description strikes me as cognitively complacent. "I am
living the life I want to live." Relevtively, yes..but completely,
absolutely? There is no need for self-improvement? Are you claiming to be
fully enlightened; are you at the end of your personal journey? Wow. What
are you going to do for the rest of your life? I bet being the messiah
gets boring after a while, huh?

>>Can you describe a situation in which Level 3 thinking is required for
>The head monk comes in with a sword, screaming, "if you move, I will
>kill you! And if you don't move, I will also kill you!"

No "thinking" helps in this scenario. It is entirely a question of
comparative precision in action, presuming the monk is commited. Is this a
zen parable?

>>or one it which there is an obvious and dramatic advantage...
>Relationships with members of the opposite sex.

Now we are getting into something interesting! Teach me O master!


Reed Konsler