Re: virus: Meme-Flexing Lesson #3

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Thu, 06 Mar 1997 16:30:55 -0800

James wrote:
>Would it help if I say that Richard's been trying to give "honest
>explanations" of whatever he's experienced all along? I will resort to
>Zen (sorry, David) for a metaphor: "It is as something seen by a dumb
>[mute] man in a dream. He knows he has had an experience, he knows
>clearly what it was, but lacks the ability to put it into words for
>another to understand." (Presumably, he is illiterate as well.)

Good analogy. I am still trying to communicate with the dumb mute, because
I believe in his honest intensions to tell me about the dream. I also try
to find out if he *really* is a mute. I hear him speak, when he thinks I am
not listening. Do I believe he *really* had the dream?

>Do you think that
>Objectivism and "meme-space flexing" lie on a continuum? Are they ends,
>or both midpoints in the spectrum? Does the last sentence mean there is
>nothing between, either O. is correct or M-S-F. is correct?

No, I don't think O. and M-S-F lie on a continuum. I meant that comparing
them that way may lead to a wrong conclusion that "the truth in the middle".
We were discussing O. and M-S-F and they should be judged independently.

>Note that this last does NOT prove the existence of Level -3! The only
>way to prove the existence of Level-3 is to achieve it for yourself. If
>you do not or cannot (for whatever reason) achieve Level-3 activity, that
>doesn't mean it doesn't exist, either. Only a few humans have walked on
>the moon, for the rest of us it might as well be a ball of cheese.

This is the secret David R. is trying to explain. There is no mystery,
there is one reality, we are conscious of, and capable of learning. Mystery
is used by con-artists to fool people. Here is what Ayn Rand said about it:

"Problem. This one is especially pernicious and effective at lassoing in
smart, educated people. The idea that there is a mysterious body of
knowledge that can be attained through a lifetime of problem-solving is a
powerful lure. This is the cornerstone of such Eastern religions as Zen and
Taoism, although adherents would probably tell you it isn't. (That's what
makes it so mysterious!) Religions such as Christianity have so much
written about them that you could never make a dent in it in a single
lifetime. But for many Christians, religious study is a great part of their
lifestyle. They pore over the Bible, believing it is the direct word of
God, bringing enlightenment if they could just understand a little more."

The result is dividing people into "believers" and "non-believers",
"Level-2ers" and "Level-3ers". Dividing people -- not studying ideas. How
can an idea be studied if the monks are masturbating with it?

The reason I invest so much time in this list is that I want to learn how to
tell a real mute from a fake one. It seems to be more difficult than I
thought: the mutes attract a lot of honest and not-so-honest people who make
this process so much more difficult. I am glad David is making some of the
ideas clearer for us.

Well, it wasn't Ayn Rand... Will the mute, please, speak up?

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159