RE: virus: Four Principles Digest

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:41:16 -0800

>David McF wrote:
>>It should be obvious to anyone who understands the second thing about
>>memetics that attempting to hide harmful memes is no way to fight them.
>What is your evidence to support this assertion? I'm interested, and it
>doesn't seem obvious to me. It's like saying that attempting to
>exterminate the smallpox virus is no way to fight it.

A few historical facts from the archives to illustrate an interesting way of
"hiding harmful memes":

(1) Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 15:08:59 -0800, Richard Brodie brings the
"smallpox virus" to this list:
"A dangerous notion. The Nazis didn't misunderstand anything. They were
schooled in the Four Principles, which I never repeat, because anyone
who knows them can easily create a runaway movement. But no
misunderstanding is needed, just the right mix of memes."

(2) A few reactions, the "smallpox virus" did not infect this list enough
and died.

(3) Almost one month later, Richard Brodie, Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 08:23:13
-0800, brings up the "smallpox virus" again:
"It's not only possible, but a main way that sophisticated modern mind
viruses work. Hitler spread his Four Principles in his speeches. Taken
together, they cause the host to become a Nazi. His experiment was
repeated successfully in only a few days by a high school teacher in
Palo Alto, California a few years ago. The teacher quickly disbanded the

(4) Much better infection this time, many responses, and fact-finding posts.

(5) Richard Brodie, Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 20:04:22 -0800:
"It should be obvious to anyone who understands the first thing about
memetics why I don't want to repeat harmful memes."

If Richard doesn't want to repeat harmful memes, who Brod this one up?

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