Re: virus: Religion

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 29 May 1997 12:46:27 -0500

David McFadzean wrote:
> >the CoV is founded on memetics, but it basically ignores all that
> >memetics can teach us about the spread of an idea. Why?) Why not just
> If we are ignoring all that memetics can teach us, it is completely
> unintentional. Please enlighten us.

Mabye not /all/ of memetics; but it does ignore much... why not design a
religion that is _appealing_ to the senses and invites people in rather
than warns them of the dangers of infection. After you've passified
them into thinking this is just a nice warn cosy religion, then you
could start revealing the "truth" about it's infectious nature. We have
this knowledge, and it gives us a kind of power, eh? My question is:
why are you holding back?

> >try to modify Christianity so that it becomes the CoV, instead of trying
> >to convert people? (for instance, John's view of Christianity is quite
> >acceptable, right?)
> We're not trying to convert anyone. Besides, there is no reason to choose
> a single vector. We can have the CoV, *and* modify Christianity.

That's cool. What are you (we?) doing on the Christianity front?

> Two questions:
> How do you think Christianity started? (hint: It wasn't always a
> huge institution.)

It started with just Jesus (of course), and then he got (possesion?
hmmm) twelve disciples to help him spread the message.

> What do you think I'm doing?

You are trying to become the next Christ? hehehe Seriously, though, I
think at the current rate of spread your Church will take just as long
as Christianity did to get any significant mind share. Use the memetic
insights and speed the spread!

(hmmm: the ends justify the means? Here I thought I'd abolished this
from my meme sphere.)

Ummm... I think I see your side of this issue here. It is your very
knowledge of memetics which prevents you from using it's techniques.
Since you understand fully how it works and why, you are lothe to use it
because it has a sense of _fakeness_ or what have you, that you would
rather avoid.
Am I right?

-Prof. Tim said:
> Irrational religions are successful. Period.
> If CoV hopes to be successful in spreading it's memes, it is /rational/ to
> adopt strategies that work. Irrational or not. (Your invitation to the
> Snake Handlers Retreat is in the mail, David. Please RSVP.)

Rational, yes. Moral? I'd say that is of questionable morals at best.
We could start changing Virus to use the "infection strategies" on the
basis that it is good to spread knowledge of meme and mind virus's... it
would really drive the point home, too, if you were infected by the the
CoV and then, after a few months, revealed the true memetic
underpinnings of the religion. But it is dangerous. Sure, we can
justify the means now becuase the ends are good, but what happens when,
after we are gone, Virus evolves (as it /must/) and, say, the ends
vanish. Can we really put Virus into a position where it is willing to
use whatever means to infect people?


Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that
is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar
that they use. -- Mark Twain