Re: virus: Is objectivism a meme?

Tony Hindle (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 20:05:13 +0000

>Tony Hindle wrote:
>> What exactly is objectivism?
>>Why is it not compatible with memetics?

David Rosdeitcher replied
> 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.
Yes David I do believe that ultimately (in the long term)
the most
powerful replicative strategy a meme can have is to be part of a
model of objective reality. This allows any potential host to test
the meme against observed reality, ie., to make a prediction based
on the meme and then see if the prediction is valid. When it is
valid, this is "the magic of science" and the meme becomes
accepted as real and it seems silly to continue to call it a meme.
The next question for me is "what is it about simplifying
our model of the universe while not loosing any explanative power,
that is so compelling" I think we probably have mental modules
sculptured by evolution that reward such events.

David wrote
> 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.
I dont agree this is what Richard believes (I am writing
this response before I have received a reply on this thread from
Richard so I will look a bit of a twat if he posts saying there is
no such thing as reality!) I assumed he was encouraging me to
explore my position deeper.

>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.
I can agree with this without denying the existence of
objective reality.

> 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.
Surely he's just saying that you can design memes that propogate
(in the short term) better that memes that describe reality, as an
example the following meme;
"If you have unlicensed microsoft software on your computer and you
connect to certain websites your unlicenced software will be
detected and erased and your hard disc may be wiped."
Btw I assume this is bollocks but I would apreciate some
reassurance from one of you computer boffins out there!

> 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
Again, I await Richard's response, but I dont think that is
what he is saying. ( again I will look a twat if he posts me orders
to kill the pope!).
I personaly think the value of memetics as a paradigm for
analysing what people believe, is that it includes ideas that are
true as well as ideas that are false and can let us understand how
both spread in their respective environmental niches. (until I
encountered memetics I could never understand how some people were
utterly convinced that God is a purple and pink tadpole called
Nigel who lives on the planet Neptune.)

>What is objectivism?
You then gave me a resumee of objectivism, I dont think I
understand it but I want to. I am going to attempt to translate it
into my own words. If you could comment on this translation I would
be grateful (thanks already for your time thus far).
> Objectivism is a philosophy that takes Tony's approach that
>there is an existence out there that is a given, or a primary.
There is a reality which we can discover. Which aliens would also
be able to discover and we could eventually agree on what it is
with those aliens.
> 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.
Peikoff improve the memetic make up of the philosophy sit could
propogate more successfully.
> 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.
One should never pretend to understand something or accept that
since someone "higher" is saying it that it is true.
> 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.
There are 3 self-evident truths. 1) Something is real.
> 2. Consciousness--any statement or action assumes that
>one is aware of reality, even if you claim you are not conscious.
if you can speak you must know something of that reality.

> 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)
things that exist cannot vanish or change to something different.
> These axioms, because they are inescapable, don't require
>proof, definition, or explanation--they are just taken as a given.
These things are so obvious they cant be prooven as there is
nothing more fundamental that they can be reduced to.

> 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.
from 1) it follows that what we observe must be real.
>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.
Reality acts on our senses and creates representations in our minds
(memes) which allow us to find our way through the reality by
modelling it..
> 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.
Richard doesnt believe there is an objective reality.
> 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".
If one doesnt believe in objective reality one can be made to
believe anything.

Ok. That's the best I can do but if you are willing my
understanding of what you are saying will be increased by you
correcting my errors in this translation (Im warning you we may
have to go through several cycles of this.)

>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".
That quote was from my sig.file. I realy only meant it as
an amusing thought (I came up with it myself when I was tripping
off my nuts, at that time it seemed true.) I will leave a better
sig. file here.

> 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
Again, I await their response, but I assumed that the
Church of the Virus was so called because it acknowledges that all
religions are just collections of mutually suportive memes that
spread and change what people believe. Cov therefor was a project
intended to have a good think and come up with some mutualy
suporting memes that would spread a benign behavioural pattern ( a
bit like what jesus tried to do) . The big plus about Cov as a
concept was that it makes explicit the fact that it's meme-
structure is not "the truth" and is always open for evolution to
incorporate better memes at such time as someone creates them.
Btw, I wrote a vaccine for malign religious memes in
response to a posting on alt memetics under the thread "evidence is
needed" but isnt the idea of Cov just that, an antidote to
religious conflicts?.
Thanks for your time......Tony Hindle.

....its about time we heard a positive drugs story on the news......
Today a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely
energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one
consciousness experiencing itself subjectively.
There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream
and we are the imagination of ourselves.....'s Tom with the weather