virus: Re: Is Objectivism a Meme? {LONG}

Wright, James 7929 (
Mon, 03 Mar 97 23:12:00 EST

David Rosdeitcher[] wrote:

>I don't think it is a "filter". However, I sometimes use the terminology
>others who put in the time to put into words something that could be
>an infinite amount of ways. So, it might seem like I am a "follower" of
>Ayn Rand.

I used the word "filter" as you did, borrowing the terminology of others,
saving time.
What would be required to demonstrate the nature of a filter to someone
who uses that filter?

>Objectivism holds that knowledge is contextual. If you were presented
>of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, it might be contextually correct to
>these illusions were real. But, to deal better with reality, you would
have to
>go through a process of understanding that what you believed was an

The thinking of small children is "magical", to use a word I think Jean
Piaget began
( I am separated from my library at the moment). But that magic is
extremely "real",
to them. How shall an individual decide if their current thinking is

>I'd say the Santa Claus myth is a good metaphor for Level 3 and beyond
in the
>sense that it is purposefully propagated. But while parents can take the
>off to admit it is an illusion, Level 3 is a speculation without
evidence based
>on contradictory concepts. I think a better analogy for Level 3 was
presented in
>a recent post by Tad that explained how, in Poland, people were told
>Socialism was better than Capitalism, but it must be experienced to be
>understood. And that Communism was beyond Socialism, which also must be
>experienced. Another analogy is Zen masters implying a state of nirvana.

How can one provide "evidence" of a mental construct? What would you
as evidence of the existence of Level 3? Your analogy with
Communism is weak; those in Poland were not permitted direct experience
Capitalism, while all of us here are experiencing Objectivism theory
(through your work)
and Memetics - Level 3 theory (through Richard's) side by side.
Your analogy to Zen nirvana indicates a superficial understanding of the
term. Please
read more about Buddhism and Zen in particular; most Zen texts speak of a
state of
"enlightenment", although some refuse to name it at all. What do you
consider "nirvana"
to mean?

>My impression is that Richard is presenting a position that many models,
>including objectivism, can be held by the mind at one time and that
>like other models, may be "useful". So, it appears that he is
>tolerant of objectivism, while I may appear to be fanatically intolerant
of that
>which is not objectivism since I say that Objectivism cannot be
discarded by any
>valid model, (which I explain below). What does Richard mean by
>"explanations of certain phenomena (propagation of memes) have gaps or
>inaccuracies in them"?

"Objectivism ....model,..." This is circular; if you only accept
Objectivism's axioms
as proof of model-validity, then OF COURSE all other models are invalid!
I used those words, not Richard; I must have misquoted him, before I
learned how to
get around "cut-and-paste". He explained himself elsewhere, without
pointing out my
misquote, which was kind of him. I should propose that Objectivism does
not include
contradiction or paradox, which is a weakness of Objectivism, in MY

>No! Objectivism is based on the notions of 1)existence, exists, 2)I am
>consciously aware of it, and 3) A is A or things have their own
identity. If you
>start with the idea that existence does not exist, then there would be
>to understand. If you start with an idea that we are not conscious of
>then there would be no understandings possible. All subsequent positions
>non-Objectivist premises would be self-refuting.

Your passage itself is based on circular acceptance. I will imitate the
ancient Zen masters (poorly, as best I can) and refute:
""You say that existence exists. What is the nature of this existence?
Does the image of the moon on the water in the pail have an existence?
Should the bottom fail and the water drop out, will the image lose its
existence? What has been lost?"
""You say that I am consciously aware of "it", the it being existence.
Who is the "I" that is aware? Can you bring forth this "I" and show it to
me? Do not bring your physical body as evidence. If you should lose an
arm in an accident, is the "I" you claim awareness for diminished? By how
much? If you cannot show me an "I" that is aware, how can you claim that
it exists, let alone possesses awareness?"
""You say that A is A, or that things have their own identity. What is
the identity of the "I" you claim is aware? Where is "I"? If "I" is not a
"thing", then do you not have an identity? How can there be any "I" to be
aware that A is A?"

Be assured, David, I am neither being trivial nor insulting; I wish to
demonstrate the point
that Objectivism is not the only model / method / whatever for describing
objective reality.

>Yes, but within that basic acceptance of existence, consciousness, and
>an infinite number of models are acceptable.

There are an infinite number of models that describe objective reality
without the acceptance
of existence, consciousness, and identity. Zen is merely one of them.


>But, no knowledge is
>outside the boundaries of the basic axiomatic principles mentioned.

I cannot agree; from what I have read, Zen is knowledge, and does not
appear to accept the
three basic axiomatic principles mentioned. All language, culture,
politics, sociological
principles and means of communication are HUMAN CONSTRUCTS: when you
begin to
believe that the "symbols are the thing", you go astray. Objectivism is a
human construct;
it is not a reality, and cannot begin to describe objective reality to

>This includes memetics. BTW, a terrific objective article on memetics,
about how it
>is not the transmission of memes that is important, but the effects of
>transmission of those memes, was in the recent post entitled
"Replication and
>Fitness in memes" by Lee Daniel Crocker. -David Rosdeitcher

Sounds interesting. I'll try to find it.

David, the preceding was a long but earnest attempt to demonstrate that
understanding seems to have the nature of water; it flows, changes from
time to time, adds new understandings similar to rushing streams
commingling, and gains from that interaction. Please keep an open mind to
the possibilities of other understandings, since the only one who can
benefit from your open
mind more than CoV is you.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's
mind there are few. I think it is better, on the whole, to have a
beginner's mind, and to try to preserve our beginner's mind."
[as close as "I" can quote from memory, Sunryu Suzuki, "Zen Mind,
Beginner's Mind"]