Re: virus: Re: Rationality

Alexander Williams (
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 15:50:52 -0500

Robin Faichney wrote:
> Only this morning, driving to work, I flashed on just what a powerful
> meme-complex racism is. But..

Incredibly powerful, incredibly /useful/ if you're attempting to create
a `sealed off' memetic complex, but I digress ...

> Surely, only if you think, not "I'm conscious", but "only I am
> conscious." On the face of it, equating thinking "I'm conscious"
> with racism is ridiculous, and on giving it some thought, it looks
> even more so. This meme is dead in the water!

Not even. It doesn't require the removal of belief of consciousness in
others to be destructive; to believe that there is an 'I', to move
forward with the belief that "consciousness" is present and that you're
behaving rationally, in the sense of 'from a cohesive center' can lead
you to a serious overestimation of your own coherency.

> Because you care what I think?

Well, I care if your memesphere shares a fair number of memes related to
this subject with mine.

> Isn't "conscious" in fact a highly useful short way of saying
> "I believe this thing is likely to behave as if it experienced
> pleasure and pain, and so I'll treat it differently than I would a
> block of wood"? Don't you think an anti-"consciousness" meme
> would inhibit the making of that distinction, and thus be
> impractical?

Not necessarily; making the distinction can be blinding to the fact that
the behaviour you're seeing is the result of competing memetic
thresholds and you'll miss understanding parts of it.

   Alexander Williams{}
The  Mekton  is a  powerful tool,  both  physically and emotionally.
There is something that  happens to an  enemy when he sees his  home
and family stepped on by a hundred ton metal man.    -- Arkon Verian
Of  all the weapons of the  Empire, the  greatest and most respected
were the Metal Knights.  These Knights had served the leaders of the
Bendar for Generations,   righting wrongs and  bringing  fear to the
Empire's Enemies.  It is  said that these  metal giants were  shaped
like men so  that the alien servants of  Evil would know that it was
Man who defeated them.
                               -- Scribings from the Murian Archives