RE: virus: Is Objectivism a meme?

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 2 Mar 1997 20:18:56 -0800

David R wrote:

> 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

NO ONE disagrees with this. Your point of view is that such
correspondence is the major influence. Yet when you say that
Objectivists have recently discovered marketing, that belies your
statement. Marketing is packaging reality (or not) with good memes.

>What's going on here is that Tony, without knowing anything about the
>of objectivism, is taking a position that the success of memes is often
>conditioned by an external reality.

NO ONE disagrees with this.

> 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

OK, let's poll a hundred people and ask them if they've made any
significant concessions regarding reality during their life time. I
would bet a dollar that you get fewer than 10 (hey, I'm being
conservative -- it's a DOLLAR!) would spout the above.

> 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
>reality--as if memes have a life of their own independent of objective

No, Richard is making the point that meme propagation has more to do
with human psychology than with modeling reality accurately.

[snipped straw man already distinguished by others]
>Identity--things that exist exist as something, or A is A--also assumed
>by an
>statement or action.

This is really the difference between Level 2 and Level 3. When you can
see beyond this axiom, you will be enlightened.

>These axioms, because they are inescapable, don't require
>proof, definition, or explanation--they are just taken as a given.

Reminds me of the Holy Trinity.

>If consciousness is valid, then the senses--the means to
>consciousness--are valid.

Non sequitur. Like saying "if my bank account is valid, then my PIN is

> The brain takes sense perceptions and forms concepts
>or ideas, which are also valid.

And apparently some that are not so valid.

> This concept formation is, to quote what I wrote
>in an earlier post, "is a method of identification or classification
>to attributes that one observes. These attributes can be anything, so
>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
>replicated to other minds. So, objectivism provides a foundation for

I completely agree with this description of what I call
"distinction-memes." However, I fail to see that it has anything to do
with Objectivism, which states that "A is A." You seem to be saying that
A could also be B, or that ABC could be XY and some left over. Which I
agree with.

> Memetics as preached by Richard has no objectivist foundation as he
>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.

Language is a bit loaded..."only"/"arbitrary" but pretty much correct.

> This implies a contradiction as the 2nd objectivist axiom of
>consciousness is violated.

It's not MY axiom, so there's no contradiction. Besides, I didn't see
"No contradictions" as one of your axioms.

> If one has no understanding of objectivism, one can be conned into

Like if one has no understanding of altruism, one can be conned into
living one's own chosen lifestyle.

>and become confused and likely to turn to someone like Richard as an
>authority figure, or "higher memetic being".

Your words.

>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.

For there to be a "sucker" there has to be a rip-off. What's the

> An understanding of objectivism makes it possible to smell a crooked
>dishonest notion, a mile away.

Well, a steeping in any Level-2 system gives you a good filter against
anything that doesn't fit into your world view. Your frustration is a
good sign that you're starting to build some dissonance. Keep thinking!

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?