virus: Re: virus-digest V2 #87

Reed Konsler (
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 13:33:05 -0500 (EST)

>From: Tim Rhodes <>
>Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 10:54:29 -0800 (PST)
>On Tue, 1 Apr 1997, Reed Konsler wrote:
>Our Savior and beloved Lord Richard said:

(just to make this clear, Tim said this, not me)

>> Forgive me, Richard, but that sounds unrealistically arrogant.
>> (perhaps another "acceptible self-deceit?")
>> I agree with Tad, if this is so dangerous it must be kept secret,
>> why bring it up in the first place? It isn't like you couldn't
>> have ignored or sidestepped the issue.
>Really? How many times has Richard talked about these things compared to
>you and I and Tad and everyone else? Will *YOU* agree to drop the issue
>as well? If not, why not?

Sure. I post what seems relevant.

>(I'm not really trying to pick a fight here, but you and Tad seem intent
>on making Richard into a strawman and I know he's content to let you do
>it. Then he'll sit back, smoking his cigar, and laugh at you for all the
>time you've wasted on his behalf. Can't you see that when he pulls a
>string you two dance?!? (And he doesn't even need to pull very hard!) /He/
>has become your little "four principals" here! Has talking about it/him
>here done anything more than spread the myth?)

I'm not sure I'm being manipulated. This list is a venue for practical
philosophy. If Richard posts 3 words and I post 3 pages well, who
cares? It's a few minutes to me. I have the time and I enjoy the process.

I actually don't belive there are "four principles" any more than I believe
there are "three levels"...that is, both a human artifice. If they were created
by Hitler in the 1930's or by Brodie last month it doesn't make much
difference to me. I accept what people say at face value...that is, I
assume there was a real message (and not unadulterated manipulation)
in their behavior.

Which is why it is VITALLY important, as I have said before, to keep
track of your ontology. How much you let your behavior be affected
by memes depends a lot on their source and corroboration, given
that life is too short to try to recapitulate culture de novo. Try science.
Critical thinking, standards of evidence, openness to new ideas...

But the nice thing about this list is that there is a very low barrier to
being manipulated because there is almost zero risk. Let's say Richard
is playing games with us all. Who cares? It IS an interesting experiment,
after all...designed or not. It's a game, and those are always the most
instructive lessons.

Order emerges from chaos. There doesn't need to be a designer.

neither god nor Richard.

The discussion we were having was about censorship, and the responsibility
a memetic engineer has to the public. I think you're focusing too much on
the details.


Reed Konsler