Re: virus: God and Level-3

David Kennerly (
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 14:25:34 -0800

> > 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
> 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?

Affirmations to those questions. A new meme must create a niche... since
if it were there before, there would be a meme in it. "If you think it
will work it will" is a motivational meme. Without motivation the meme
will never see the light of physical action. It will never live past the
"larval" stage of ideahood to the "adult" stage of behaviorhood. Self-help
psychology books are full of illustrations of "I can't do that" memes
killing off potentially successful memes in their larval stages.