virus: A new government, for the people, by the people.

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 10:08:29 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 15:05:43 -0600
>From: David McFadzean <>
>At 10:14 AM 19/06/97 -0700, Tim Rhodes wrote:
>>Although a Memetocracy (rule by the meme engineers) does have it's
> ^^^^^^^^^^^ I like that one. If you come up with a real
>definition, I'll add it to the memetic lexicon.

Call me a naieve populist, but, I favor democracy over
formallized rule by designated elites; even if it is suceptible
to demogogery, at least there is some social mobility
with respect to who gets to play demogoge.

I might point out that Paul Allen's Stadium scheme doesn't
have an obvious moral message. Americans have a hard time
parting with their precious buck for community infrastructure...
even stuff the public wants. We're misers with our moola.

If you like, you could see him as a catalyst and not a parasite...
a la the "Stone Soup" parable...he offers a $9.4 million
dollar "rock" which is pathetically insufficeint to build the
whole thing and the "public" finds the carrots squirreled
away in their attic. In the end who "owns" the stadium
isn't really's "public" property by definition
of it's very nature.

In this light, what makes you think Paul allen ISN'T a memetic
engineer? He did work at Microsoft, didn't he? Let's say he's
a saint at decided the stadium would be a good thing...what, do
you expect him to build it himself? And what sort of message
does than send: "look ye mighty, and despair, at the house that
PAUL built!" I can only imagine the crap he and the whole
Microsoft "Conspiracy" would have taken for that.

Don't believe me? Look at Disney in Orlando. Is that a healthy
relationship between wealth/power and the public? Do citizens
of Florida take pride in the investment they have made in EPCOT
and the Mouse or are they suspicious of a juggernaut which seems
to consider them irrelevant? Who "owns" that infrastructure?

If you were Allen, what would you have done? What if the project
had been voted down? 9.4 MILLION DOLLARS is a lot of personal
money to bet on public good will...and it was a bet, wasn't it?

Two main points:

1) Real situations are ambigious. Moralizations are usually more
descriptive of the observer's neuroses than the subject's.

2) Rule by (successful) memetic engineers is tautological.


Reed Konsler