Re: virus: God and Level-3

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 11:42:53 -0800 (PST)

On Sat, 29 Mar 1997, Tony Hindle wrote:

> David McFadzean writes
> >When is
> >it better to believe something that isn't true?
> Never was my knee jerk anwser but I do have one example
> that at the moment seems to me to be in the grey area here.
> Sometimes one needs to believe one will achieve a goal in
> order to increase one's chance of achieving it.
> Suppose we consider 100 such goals (including some
> impossible goals). If person A never attemps self delusion they
> will achieve say 50 of the goals. Person B who succeeds in
> believing that they will achieve all 100, goes on to achieve 60.
> Doesnt person B presents an example of occaisions when it
> is better to believe something that isnt true? If not why not?

This reminds me of something someone else said (Nate, maybe?) about a
powerful advertising meme changing the ways you perceive reality and as a
result making if harder to remove that meme from you head. If we are
meme-ecologies, to what extent does changing our memes change that
ecology, and as a result the change the selection pressures within that
ecology? Can a new meme create a niche that wasn't there before that meme
was introduced? Does the introduction of the "if you think it will work
it will" meme re-align the meme-scheme so that it can become a
self-fulfilling prophecy? Does "I can't do that" have a similar, albeit
opposite, effect?

-Prof. Tim