Re: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Prisoner's Dillema

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 16:14:45 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 18 Apr 1997, Reed Konsler wrote:

> I think this ties into the discussion we were having earlier about the idea
> of "Consensus Reality". Why didn't it get brought up sooner? I wonder if
> it was becuase we were arguing while denying our baser selves? Perhaps, to
> some extent, each of us was more interested in seeing their "meme" triumph
> over everone elses: To stamp their seal, to evangelize, to infect. It was
> only after we all realized that that wasn't working that we began to pause
> and say:
> "Well, alright then...what do YOU think?"
> And how many times have you read something and it just "passed through"
> without ever really impacting you? And how many points-of-view or
> interesting ideas do we ignore each day because our mechanisms for
> filtering them out (for instance, by only reading something refering to you
> specifically) aren't very good?
> Object Lesson?

Yes, and a good one. Maybe in future we can ivoke the "Reed Principle"
when we start to get too tied up in ourselves and seeing our memes win.

Of course the parties invovled won't be able to see the need of invoking
this, so we may need to count on others, not involed in the particular
debate, to step in and tell us to chill out. (Yes, Eva, I got this idea
from our conversation.)

Can we all agree to step back for a moment and *just listen* when someone
invokes the Reed Principle on us?

-Prof. Tim