Re: virus: good questions

Eric Boyd (
Sat, 01 Jun 1996 23:34:29 -0500

John "Dry-Roasted Army Worm" Williams wrote:
> We employ the tools of rhetoric and persuasion as well as logic;
> furthermore, we tell everyone that we are employing the tools of rhetoric
> and persuasion. Memetics is, as far as I can tell, an outgrowth and
> revisioning of the entire task of dialogue: how to persuade, how to make an
> idea take hold, etc.

That's a big part of memetics, certainly. Nice point.

> I'm sure that no one here will actually claim that they do not have the
> right to try to change people's opinions, because that's what this is all
> about. If that's "pretending to be a God to other people," well, I'm not
> sure I can agree with that characterization. But we *are* trying to change
> people's perceptions -- all of us. Anyone who has posted any sort of
> argument is guilty of attempting to take over someone's thought-processes.
> If you don't think you have a right to do something like that, well, don't
> try to convince me that I don't either, because you don't have the right to
> try to change me. Make sense?

What I think he was asking about, more than just basically "convincing
others" was morality/ethics. I can try to convince you all I like about
the truth of some trivial thing (like who won some sports game) and I
won't have to worry about the fact that I'm assuming the position of a
god. But as soon as the issue becomes something /important/ (however
you want to define that) it is really important to understand your own
"godhood". Because you /should/ carry the responsibilty that such a
position brings with it. Acknowledging that you have assumed the
position of a god always reminds me of the dangers and responsibility.
But view it however you like.


The most useful piece of advice you can ever give anyone is:
"Don't listen to me, I'm trying to manipulate you to my advantage."
Reed Konsler

(hehehe, a great stolen quotation!)