Re:virus: Is objectivism a meme?

David Rosdeitcher (
01 Mar 97 10:45:28 EST

Tony Hindle wrote:
> What exactly is objectivism?

This I will explain.

>Why is it not compatible with memetics?

Objectivism is completely compatible with and supportive of memetics!

Tony wrote:
> Why have I spent 2 weeks reading postings from Tad,
>Richard and others, all who seem to have some wonderfull insights,
>without really being able to tell myself what exactly you are
>disagreeing about?

Again-This I will explain.

> I believe in objective reality. I also believe everything
>can be analysed memetically does that make me a schizo?

Absolutely not!

> This is a polite request for anyone to post some clear
>answers to my questions. Please give me some practical examples
>where an objectivist would do something different to a memeticist
>all other things being equal.

Ok, get ready to hear this:
When I read Tony's posts, I get the impression that he is taking an
objective approach to memetics, by claiming that how well memes do in terms of
propagating themselves is affected by how well they correspond with objective
Tony wrote:
> I think that when the model (meme-complex) explains
>observations and can make correct predictions as elegantly as the
>heliocentric meme, we all forget it is just a model and we call it
> In this sense we only ever model reality with memes.
>Science creates memes that I believe will eventually spread better
>than any other memes (I am an optimist) because they can be used to
>make correct predictions about the world.

What's going on here is that Tony, without knowing anything about the philosophy
of objectivism, is taking a position that the success of memes is often
conditioned by an external reality. This is a natural honest approach, as any
babies who survive to be adults, must make a concession that external reality is
a given and that the mind doesn't create reality through use of language.
Let's contrast this with Richard, who wrote to Tony:

>But Tony, what makes you think that making correct predictions about the
>world has anything to do with meme propagation?

Richard is taking a position that memes do not correspond with objective
reality--as if memes have a life of their own independent of objective reality.
This is a corrupt dishonest approach to memetics, as you will see. To show
another example,
Richard wrote to Drakir:
>A fact is nothing more than a meme with universal agreement. That
>agreement can come and go over time! Fact is just a label we put on a
>meme, like USDA approval of a side of beef.

This is confusing, because truth does in fact, change--but changes according to
what is observed. What Richard is saying is that you can make up your own facts
about reality and they'd be just as valid as any other facts. This, of course,
would be dangerous to a baby deciding a hot stove is not hot. Richard's approach
disconnects memes from reality and has been used for centuries as a way to hoax
people. Such an ideology makes it easy to justify any statement or action and
also makes it easy to dupe other people with notions about reality not existing
as it does. When people accept contradictions, they become very easy to control.

What is objectivism? Objectivism is a philosophy that takes Tony's approach that
there is an existence out there that is a given, or a primary. This philosophy
was systematized by Aristotle, corrected and further developed by Ayn Rand, and
put into a format for most people to understand, by Leonard Peikoff. In this
approach, one determines this external reality through one's own thinking
process and not by following a higher authority than one's own mind.
Objectivism is based on 3 axioms--fundamental concepts which are implicit in
any statement or action. These axioms are 1. existence--any statement or action
assumes there is something out there, even if you contradict that notion by
claiming nothing exists. 2. Consciousness--any statement or action assumes that
one is aware of reality, even if you claim you are not conscious. 3.
Identity--things that exist exist as something, or A is A--also assumed by an
statement or action. (This goes for light as wave or particle, Heisenberg's
uncertainty principle and other apparent contradictions, which I might explain
in another post) These axioms, because they are inescapable, don't require
proof, definition, or explanation--they are just taken as a given.
How does this relate to memetics and why must memetics be studied based on
objectivism? If consciousness is valid, then the senses--the means to
consciousness--are valid. The brain takes sense perceptions and forms concepts
or ideas, which are also valid. This concept formation is, to quote what I wrote
in an earlier post, "is a method of identification or classification according
to attributes that one observes. These attributes can be anything, so many
identifications or classifications are possible." So, there is these many valid
ways of mentally perceiving reality--through these concepts. These concepts can
already exist (ie. book)or be originally created (ie. 'meme' by Dawkins). Such
concepts are sometimes called memes, to denote the fact that they can be
replicated to other minds. So, objectivism provides a foundation for memetics.
Memetics as preached by Richard has no objectivist foundation as he claims
that when you express your point of view, you are only breaking the world up
into distinction memes that are arbitrary even though they might "work" in a
given situation. This implies a contradiction as the 2nd objectivist axiom of
consciousness is violated.
If one has no understanding of objectivism, one can be conned into Richard's
system and become confused and likely to turn to someone like Richard as an
authority figure, or "higher memetic being". The Church of Virus is taking a
valid study of the mind and language and using it to create a religion--as new
dupes are suckered in. When I observed this interaction between Tony and
Richard, I thought it would be interesting to see if Tony could defend himself
without objectivism. It is possible, but not easy--especially if non-objective
ideas are held:

Tony wrote:
>Reality is an illusion created by our senses.

No! Even though you perceive reality differently than others, it is still the
same reality that others perceive. Such a loose end in thinking opens up a shot
for Richard, as "another one bites the dust".
An understanding of objectivism makes it possible to smell a crooked
dishonest notion, a mile away. While Richard's statements are blatently stupid
from an objectivist standpoint, David McFadean's statements are cleverly
disguised. Here is an example:

David McF wrote:
> It appears that you and Tad are picking fights just for the
>sake of picking fights. Is it any wonder why most subscribers are trying to
>ignore this discussion?

What David McF is doing here is implying, by his emphasis on the "value" of peer
opinion, is that the energy other people put into a discussion determines
reality. In other words, content of consciousness determines existence.
I will not go further into this but I will tell you that Richard Brodie and
David McFadzean are tricking people in ways that have been used to trick
millions of people for 2300 years. Corey asked a question once, about whether
Tad and I are saying Richard is evil. Yes! Richard B. and David McF are