virus: re: truth, science, and the American way

bolin aaron ulysses (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:09:12 -0600 (CST)

Reed recently brought up the idea that any point of view that is not
based on reason leaves an individual open to manipulation.
Though reasoned argument and scientific evidence I have arrived at a
point of view which says that everyone (even Master Brodie) are
susceptible to manipulation, regardless of their point of view. If fact,
some people with an irrational point of view are harder to manipulate
because of their irrational "faith meme."

You see behavior is a weighted average of individual tendencies and the
situation. the cool thing about weighted averaging is that the sum of
the weights is always equal to 1. so.

behavior = (weight a) x (individual tendency) + (weight b) x (situation)

Once more, your behavior feeds back into the equation as a determinate of
individual tendencies (cognitive dissonance). so if I were to increase
the relative weight of the situation to 1, then your individual desires
drop out and you do what I want (like if I hold a gun to your head and
make you do something). The odd thing is that the second time I ask you
to do something against your will I don't have to increase the weight of
the situation quite as much, maybe just to .9 because I have changed your
individual tendencies ever so slightly to agree with me.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is no truth. Reason is an
illusion, science is an illusion, and most of all truth is an illusion --
there is no objective reality.

So how does this fit into a discussion of memetics? Memes exist because
they are adaptive in some way. If they were not adaptive they would be
replaced by better memes. Seek therefore not for truth or reason but
practicality. For some people it makes sense for them to have irrational
memes because it allows them to do extraordinary things. Would I post
messages to this newsgroup if I didn't have the irrational meme that says
someone actually cares what I have to say?