virus: Open Mind and Emotions

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 20:13:54 -0800

We are emotional beings -- no doubt about it! It is so easy to replace
logic and rationality with a favourite authority/religion. Communication
ends there and is replaced with jokes and/or personal insults.

Drums please... Dan Plante receives a special TeTa award for his parable!

It all started with a fundamental question of memetic engineering: how to
*make* people more open-minded by constructing a meme to damage the action
of their memetic immune systems.

Loki (who asked the question) immediately sets an emotional tone:
"(Mo, this is not a sneaking question about how to convince Objectivists
they're wrong...)"

Stephen: "I urge all people who believe in objective reality to take an
acting class and then describe, from the point of view of your brain, what's
real and what's not ;)."

Martz: "Beware. Memetic AIDS."

Corey: "He [Robert Wilson] claimed that there was a way to transform someone
from a neophobe to a neophile, but I havn't figured it out all the way yet."

Loki elaborates (somehow Zen and Buddhism are not mentioned on his
cow-ending list): >>The thing is, many "immune systems" are different --
i.e. Objectivism as opposed to, say, Catholicism. I'm not sure there's a
memetic AIDS capable of affecting the devout Catholic and the devout Wiccan
in the same breath, as it were. (Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong
with being a devout Catholic, Wiccan, an Objectivist, a Discordian, or a
cow. The problem is getting hidebound and dogmatic...)<<

Tim: >>I find people with static mindsets tend to be less dynamic and are
seldom able to adapt to novel situations. Maybe it was the choice of words
"static" and "stable" that bothered me. I don't see thought patterns such
as Zen as "static" in any way, shape or form. Quite the opposite, I think.<<

And here comes Dan's parable, which ends with:

>Master: Ask him, and his response is always the same: "To reinvent
> myself every morning; to take my 'self' apart every night and
> examine the result, that I may know myself (and others)
> as well as like to think I do, and be my own master. To be a
> child inside, that I may view the world, its parts and its
> whole, with the wonder it deserves. To be on the move often;
> physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, so that
> things don't grow on, or in me. To roll with the punches if
> I can't duck fast enough. To be open to new ideas and points
> of view; they are the oil that keeps me from seizing up. To
> expose these ideas to the same scrutiny I impose on my 'self',
> for once exposed to them, they /are/ me."
>Student: And this is a mindset which is /static/?
>Master: Of course. He hasn't changed this mindset one iota in 30 years.
>Student: Oh. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

How can we *make* people more open-minded?
We can't. The mind opens FROM INSIDE.

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