Re: virus: Angelica de Meme

Tony Hindle (
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 11:43:20 +0100

I go away for one small bender and there are 6 posts in this thread
alone I want to make. Instead I will cut & past all into this one post.
(I suppose this is the cyberversion of trying to collect my thoughts.)

In message <970404.163437.CT.COOKCORE@ESUVM>, "Corey A. Cook"
<> writes
> When you study your science of art, just be sure
>that you keep in mind: "Sometimes, you're wrong."
"sometimes im wrong" is the only thing I know for certain.
>"Not in the face! Not in the face!"
>-Arthur's battlecry
I love it.

In message <>,
Tim Rhodes <> writes
> Are there
>experiments that can be performed to gather quantifiable data to support
>the hypothesis?
>I've had one bouncing around in my head for a while, If I get a chance to hammer out an
>outline of the experiment I may make it available to a couple interested
>parties off-line to get their input, though.)
I'll volunteer to put my input even though I expect it will
disqualify me from being an experimental subject.
>If this (memetics) is an empowering tool for
>understanding both objective and subjective realities, than every one of
>us should have a stake in realising it's potential.
I agree,
>Can we all conspire to put a capital "M" on memetics?
I shall make a conscious effort to do so from now on.

In message <>, Tadeusz Niwinski
<> writes
>Tony wrote:
>>>>I dont believe you are jealous and yet you
>>>>frequently post warnings of his manipulative motives, thus setting up
>>>>cognitive dissonance in me.
>>>Thank you, I am glad I do. Which postings do you have in mind? I'll be
>>>glad to discuss something specific.
>> The ones where you say
>> "Richard is just a manipulative cunt who doesnt believe anything
>>is real, he should be injected with special drugs to keep him alive so
>>he can feel all the pain while his internal organs are removed and used
>>for the benefit of others."
>> ...I am paraphrasing and sumarising what I have got from a
>>hundred or so postings. (this one has corrected my perceptions.)
>You are putting *your* words in quotes, pretend they are mine and you call
>it paraphrasing and summarising.
Sorry, Its a lack of available cybervocabulary on my part. It
was meant as an amusing way of summarising what I gleaned form all your
posts about Richard, VotM and Level 3 over the last couple of months. As
a non literal summary I still believes it does the job well. In fact I
challenge anyone to come up with a more semantically dense one sentence
> The word "cunt" is not used very often,
>even on this list, and you put it in my mouth. You suggest I am a sadist
>demanding painful punishment for people who achieve something I am jealous
>of. Is this a demo of "memetic engineering"?
If anyone who read the whole posting got the genuine impression
that the offending sentence was your words, and therefore that you are a
sadist then I will be very surprised.
As an apt one sentence summary of your postings over the last
two months though, I still say it stands as a good one.
>Wouldn't it be simpler to say: thanks for reminding me that light can be
>looked upon as a particle or as a wave?
Yes. But wouldnt it have been simpler for you to just say that.
(I am now bracing myself in preparation for you quoting back your own
posting in which you did say it.)
>> So you and Richard together serve to elicit more and deeper
>>thinking about his book, is that what you mean?
>There is no secret agreement between us and it is not part of a designed
>virus to help sell his book.
I wasnt implying that. I dont believe there is a secret
conspiracy between you but if I did I would not expect you to tell me if
I asked you (Liar's paradox and all that).
> As Richard said, CoV is an exceptional group
>of people worth talking to.
This I agree with. (this is a self evident truth considering my
activity here since I discovered it.)
> In the subject of memetics I think it is a great
I agree again and I thank you for making this explicit for me.
>Then their egos jump at me and call me names, which in /science of memetics/
>is called "break the mirror if you don't like the picture" meme.
This is an excellent name for a strategy-meme that until now I
could recognise but not name. (was not my "paraphrasing" of your
position just me holding up a mirror to you?)
>>>>>>May I remind you I am ready to run naked through buckinghham palace
>>>>>>screaming "I must eat the queen's pussy, Take control, learn memetics"
>> It was a joke. What I thought was a more amusing way of saying
>>that I am ready to spread memetics to others.
>That's why I asked "why"? The question is still open. I'll add more: Who
>stops you from spreading memetics to others?
Me. Part of the reason was that I was under the impression that
you/David R. had an important refutation (which I had not been able to
understand) of Richard's belief that memetics should be more widely
known. I didnt want to start preaching one day and then the next day
read a fluent convincing post from you or David R. that made me think
"shit they are correct, memetics and VotM are evil, I have been doing
Satan's work."
> Are there other ways of
>spreading memetics aside from spreading HM's legs? What kind of help do you
>expect from me? (I'm not going to help you in, you know what). What are
>your plans, then?
You are giving me all the help I want by allowing me to get a
more satisfactory model of your position in my mind.
My plans are to perform comedy in front of audiences (as the
Reverend C. Darwin. Memetics isnt the only thing I think people should
be better informed about.)
>>>About memetics. It occurred to me just recently that memetics is like
>>>astrology. We know that the position of the stars when we are born is
>>>different for different people and it may explain differences between us.
>>>Nobody did any research on HOW it may influence us, although astrologers
>>>claim they know.
>> I dont follow. Surely you are not saying you believe in
>Right, I do not believe in astrology. I do not believe memetic engineers
>have anything to say about quality of life, what's good, what's bad,
>*because* they understand memes.
I agree.
> When a priest tells you what to do, he
>claims, the wisdom comes from God. When a psychologist tells you about how
>self-esteem works or what the state of "flow" is, it is based on research
>and practice. When an astrologer tells you about your character based on
>your birthdate it is based on some unidentified sources. What does a
>memeticist base his assertions about purposeful life on?
Ok I'll answer what I understand Richard's position (and now
mine as well as many other contributors here I think) to be. A
Memeticist (by which I mean someone who understands Memetics) sees that
people who dont understand Memetics are more likely to have a "life
purpose" that serves a mind virus rather than themselves (then again
these two may coincide but that would just be a lucky coincidence). A
Memeticist therefore considers this possibility (as well as all other
things which non-Memeticists consider) when choosing a life purpose. If
after considering all this one still wants to be a chartered accountant
then so be it. (disclaimer, I know that certain list participants are
certified acountants, this is of course completely different.)
> The fact that
>ideas can be called memes and they spread is not enough information to teach
>the Life-101 course. The information comes from some unidentified source.
>What is the source?
Non sequiter comes to mind (Im not sure why?). Surely you dont
base assertions on a purposeful life entirely on the life-101 course.
>>> A notion that you know
>>>how to live because you know how to program peoples' minds seems to be
>>>highly immoral to me.
>> I agree. Im not sure where you suggest this notion comes from.
>Nothing specific. I mention it just in case you run into some skilful
>memetic engineer who will try to convince you that ALL ideas are dinky
>little memes, search for truth is nonsense, reality is an illusion, morality
>is hiding some harmful secrets she only knows about, holding conflicting
>ideas is a post-rational virtue, and the quality of life comes from a $170 a
>bottle cognac and fine cigars.
Thanks Tad. You have already made me explore the possibility
that Richard (and you) might be such a Memetic engineer. I still think I
can synthesise your position and his to my satisfaction (without using
the last resorts "Tad is jealous" or "Richard is evil" memes). I am now
going to have a very brief first attempt at comunicating it to you.
I believe in the existence of objective reality (your
position). I believe all ideas we have can be usefully understood as
Memes (Richard's position). I believe objective reality can be used by
humankind to "tune in" their Memcologies to model objective reality
better (Prof Tim's position - jump in if I am wrong Tim). This is what
science does. (by science I mean conducting and popularising science.)

>>I will read Branden's book if ever I come across it.
>You will never come across it unless you look for it. How many times did
>you have to hear about the VotM before you decided to read the book?
Point taken. I will look for it in the library and if it is
there I will put it second on my reading list. ( I cant say fairer than
that, Ive got a copy of Viz which is at no. one presently).
I decided to buy VotM after reading the intro chapter on the
www. It pressed all the right third order buttons for me (I am heavily
into Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Robert Wright's "Moral animal")

In message <>, Tadeusz Niwinski
<> writes
>Tim wrote:
>>Can we all conspire to put a capital "M" on memetics?
>Sounds quite constructive to me. Here is my contribution. Let's clear our
>(1) Do we all believe reality exists?
>(2) Do we believe we are conscious of this reality?
>(3) Do we believe we are capable of learning about this reality?

Reed added these which I will answer:
>(4) Do we believe that we may be mistaken?
>(5) Are we willing to accept alternative paradigms on a provisional
> basis to determine their relative usefulness and validity, regardless
> of their relation to these axioms?

In message <>,
Tim Rhodes <> writes
>Let me rephrase what, I'm sure, you meant to say, Tad:
>(1) Do we all believe memes exist?
>(2) Do we believe we are conscious of these memes?
Yes. (Dennett & Consciousness explained notwithstanding)
>(3) Do we believe we are capable of learning about these memes?

In message <>, "Wright, James 7929"
<> writes
>>Tony Hindle wrote:
><Snip backquote>
>> Heres a thought. do the (increasingly precise) observations
>>science makes help us by allowing us to formulate theories to explain
>>what we see. Or are they just more data to explain?<
>I see it as circularly endless. The data discovered lead to theories
>which attempt to explain the data, which leads to a search for more data
>to confirm / disprove the theories, endlessly and in all directions
> > What state would science be in if there was no radiation coming
>>from anywhere in the skies except for the sun and the moon?<
>Difficult to say; after all, radiotelescopes were invented, when no one
>had ever seen the stars that they can depict. I hope that imagination
>would have driven science in discovery even in the absence of easily
>observable puzzles.
I believe it would have. But I meant what if there had been
nothing else to discover?:
"suppose that objective reality consisted only of the moon. sun,
earth. That is to say nothing more was observable because nothing more
existed, then what would science have looked like?"
I just think this hypothetical helps shed light on the nature of

Ok I am posting this now and getting back to my mailbox to read all the

Tony Hindle.
I've just remembered I am meant to be trying always to spell Memetics
with the big M. I will try harder in future.