Re: virus: Meme-Flexing Lesson #3

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Fri, 07 Mar 1997 21:17:24 -0800

Prof. Tim wrote:
>On Thu, 6 Mar 1997, Tadeusz Niwinski wrote:
>> James wrote:
>> >...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.
>Um,... so,... For Armstrong the moon is real and for the rest of us it's a
>ball of cheese? Tad, I don't get it?!?

Tim, I love you and I will do my best to explain how I understand it. More
than that, if I am not successful, I will own my failure of not being able
to communicate it to you. But, please, in the name of *your* cute little
knees, do your best and try to understand me.

Mystery is a genetically build in mechanism with an apparent survival value.
It may:
(1) save from danger (one is afraid of things some of which may be fatal,
like fire, predators, etc.)
(2) help organize a society (tribe, nation, virus list, etc.) into
dominating leaders and obeying followers
(3) stimulate thinking and discovering
(I am sure there is more good things about mystery)

We have the mystery mechanism build in.

There are three kinds of mystery:
(1) Where is the end of Earth,
(2) Santa Claus,
(3) Mr. Armstrong.

(1) We understand the world better and better and many mysterious things are
not mysterious anymore (talking to you the way I do now a 100 years ago
would be considered total mystery).

(2) Concepts invented to control others (also in the positive meaning of the
word "control").

(3) Mr. Armstrong is not really a mystery, although it may look like one.
Some people can do things, others can't (walking on the Moon), because they
have skills, they were selected to go, etc. Magicians show things which
*seem* impossible. Some magicians make it their *life's purpose* to show
that there is nothing mysterious in their tricks. Harry Houdini, one of the
most famous escape artists and magicians, could "walk through a wall".
According to "Encyclopedia Americana" he "crusaded vigorously against
fraudulent mediums, exposing their methods" (I can see a great analogy to
what David R. is doing on this list).

Putting Mr. Armstrong and "meme-space flexing on the fly" in one sentence is
a technique described as "association memes" by Richard Brodie in "Virus of
the Mind" (I'm not sure if you heard of it, :-) it's an excellent book):
"Association-memes are subtle and their exploitation can be insidious".

The fact that Armstrong was on the Moon has nothing to do with the Santa
Claus nature of Level-3.

> If there is only one reality we
>are capable of learning why does it have to exclude the parts that you've
>never experienced?

No problem with that.

>Or the ones that Ayn Rand doesn't like?

I am not sure what she liked and didn't like and I don't care. She is dead
and we are not able to talk to her. I am interested in what WE think.

> If there's
>one reality /WE/ are conscious of, isn't the one that includes /ALL/ of
>our collective experiences? Even thoughs of a Tibetan monk who you don't
>agree with.

OK, even the Tibetan monk's thoughts belong to reality, no problem.

>> Mystery is used by con-artists to fool people.
>Objectivism was a mystery to YOU at some point, before you found out about
>it. Is Ayn Rand a con-artist then?

It was never a mystery to me, but let's assume that Objectivism was a
mystery to someone at some point. In order to answer if this makes Ayn Rand
a con-artist, one has to find out if this is mystery type (1) or mystery
type (2). If it is (2), she could be a con-artist or an "honest believer"
(as children believing in Santa may *really* believe it or consciously
pretend in order to get presents, or even honestly think that this is how
they are supposed to behave).

What I meant in the above quote is that type (2) mystery *can* be used by
con-artist to fool people (and is).

Mystery of Level-3 is built "according to the book" (it didn't take a genius
to figure out which book). An attempt is made to use this mystery as a tool
for manipulation (dividing people to "Level-2ers" and "Level-3ers"). I am
trying to find out if this is:

(1) a huge memetic experiment performed on the virus list (without our
consent which is not ethical), or

(2) a hypocrisy (also described in the same book, and also unethical).

This is like the situation with the monks: both options are bad.

Of course there is always a third option. The mute may be dumb.

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