Re: virus: good questions

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 31 May 1996 21:43:10 -0500

KMO wrote:
> I've browsed through meme central. Alarms go off whenever anyone wants to
> be paid to get me past the I'm OK, You're OK stage. By the way, I wore dark
> sunglasses while I browsed so the colors wouldn't knock me over. It takes alot
> of responsibility to help someone's mind and influence it for the good. How do
> you justify this? Are you a god who can see into a person and know what they
> need? Are you that objective and cautious? This takes a love that is real; not
> that possessive stuff that is used for control purposes-nothing emotional.

<RANT> --- you have been warned

This is reminding me of my Divine Discontent journey again, and I fear I
will have to anwser. I decided that as an atheist, you basically have
no choice when it comes to the matter. You /must/ view yourself as your
own God. In rejecting the God that has been "provided" (hehehe), you
essentially leave yourself in a spiritual void, and must find a
replacement. And so you become your own god and create meaning for
yourself. Essentially, you create your own universe. It does entail a
lot of responsibitity, and this is I think why religion evolved in the
first place. Many people would simply be too scared to face this on
their own. But I can handle it; and in fact I beleive now that this is
humankinds' greatest glory: that in fact we /can/ (must?) decide for
ourselves why life is important. That our lives are /in our own
hands/. Tell me sir, do you object to my position as god of myself?
But your question is about us pretending to be god's to other people,
right? I've been asking questions like this for the last week, and
they've been met with silence. Hello out there?

> What about people that harm who have strong minds? There's alot of them out
> there. What about the people who try to suggest that someone gain weight and
> be unhealthy, or to contract a disease or die? You suggest or at least Brodie
> does, that people can free their minds and then influence others. This is now
> open to danger and that which is unsafe and deadly.
> Or is that your point? M

That is /exactly/ the point. All of memetic's is about understanding
that /ideas/ not only influence but also /infect/ us. This is the /key/
insight of memetics. (although understanding that idea's evolve
according to "survival of the fittest" is very important too (but that's
related anyway)). I think that David McFadzean is a good example of a
person who _really_ understands what this is all about. He /knows/ that
the Church of Virus would gain mindshare much quicker if he used the
insights of memetics. Pushed peoples buttons (sex, danger, freedom).
But he does not. Instead, he hosts the CoV on The
intro page is designed to warn people that the idea's contained within
are /dangerous/. The very name itself (virus) has negative
I think that really the idea's of memetics make people MORE aware that
the language they use will be influencing people, possibly in dangerous
ways. That knowledge makes us more careful. The fact remains though
that this is a tool of immense power. I agree that evil minds, should
they obtain ahold of it, could do some damage. But like the others
here, I think the knowledge should be spread far and wide as fast as
possible. As soon as you understand, you are in a much better place to
defend yourself from the dangers. Awareness translates into /immunity/.
Not to mention the advantages level 3 has.



"A scholar knows no boredom." -- Jean Paul Richter