RE: virus: Four Principles Digest

Wright, James 7929 (
Tue, 01 Apr 97 12:12:00 EST

Bolin Aaron Ulysses wrote a post discussed below.
I find the tone of the preceeding post a trifle harsh. Please consider:
a) Richard does not have to try to explain the ideas behind his book to
us or anyone; while the propagation of the meme-system approach to
understanding cognition would presumably be in his own self-interest (to
sell existing or future books), there are probably much more effective
ways to spread the word. Book-signing tours and raffle-giveaways of 1 or
two copies through would likely be much more efffective than
participating in an Internet mailing list, in terms of time and results.
b) If Richard appears condescending, is it possible that ego-alienation
is the cause? He has no reason to assume everyone has read his books, and
I haven't; explaining that something is wrong or hazardous in meme-space
is itself hazardous, since infection is better prevented by containment
than by trying to provide both virus and vaccine at the same time.

Bolin Aaron Ulysses wrote: <snip backquote>
>Of all the condescending garbage I've ever read...<<
Is he condescending? To whom? I read it as an appreciation of a
compliment, which are rather rare around here. If you are offended by his
expression of appreciation, can you say why?

>I just have a hard time seeing you as a great teacher with purely
altruistic goals. <<

I cannot remember him making such a claim, merely that he is trying to
spread Level-3 thinking around.

> Looking at your post in terms of the four principles:
1. Does Brodie attempt to control information: absolutely<

The most effective control of information (when you can manage it) is to
ignore it, and ensure that it is not discussed. This is probably widely
practiced by the government and media, to protect the "common people"
discovered a hazard, Richard brings up its existence (twice) to ensure
that it is noticed. Not publishing (again) the exact description prevents
unnecessary replication of a viral hazard; warning of something that is
actually widely published (in libraries) and how it is hazardous should
innoculate the unwary from investigating it without caution. Your
complaint above appears unjustified.

>>2. Does Brodie attempt to control associations: that's tough to do from
usenet group, but there definately seems to be a Brodie in-group and a
Brodie out group.<<

There are also unaffiliated hangers-on, lurkers, those who wander in by
accident and wander out as quickly as possible, and probably a couple of
dozen other categories. I have no evidence that Brodie exerts influence
on the membership of the list; indeed, for various examples of uncivil
behavior David McF. has shown a remarkable tolerance of dissent, discord
and personal attack. You fail to make your case here.

>3. Does Brodie attempt to control thought/language: oh yeah, with his
whole "level three" "four principles" etc.<
[level-3; four principles; we have to call these ideas SOMETHING! Do you
have better labels for these meme-complexes than Richard has provided?]
Since when is bringing items up for discussion (against his better
judgement yet) and elaborating on previously expressed ideas (level-3) an
attempt to CONTROL thought / language? What basis do you have for
asserting this?

>4. Does Brodie control punishment and rewards: again, pretty hard to do
using this medium, but he tries<

Rewards? After one member generally opposed to his ideas expressed
poverty, Richard offered to send him a free copy of his book.
Punishments? Your post appeared, and I expect another in reply to this
reply. The only feasible punishment is expulsion from the list, and I
haven't seen Richard propose this. David, has Richard attempted to
influence you regarding list membership?

>So what does it mean? I may be cynical, but I doubt that Brodie would
waste his time on such a newgroup without a hidden motive. Maybe a new
book on the horizon?<

Fortunately for all of us, the suspicion of hidden motive does not create
one, or we would all be subject to invisible manipulation. Please
understand that I do not own any of Richard's books, have never met him,
and have no immediate plans to do so. I do, however, find it uncivil to
suspect someone of hidden motive with no more evidence than you have
cited above.
You are of course welcome to your own opinions, or to ignore this; I
would request that you document your assertions so I can examine them