Re: virus: Memetics: our obligations

John ''I Take Large Steps'' Williams (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 07:10:18 -0400

At 08:31 PM 6/22/96 -0500, Eric wrote:

>Now, I've been thinking. (it's all I've got!) Memetics can tell us a
>lot about communication. After your mouth is open, memetic's hayday
>begins. What I want to know now is: what can memetics tell us about
>/when/ you should communicate? Do we have an /obligation/ to /open/ our
>mouths? At a functional level, I'm asking if we should be "infecting"
>others with the meme meme. Or with any memes.

[Entire story clipped. It's good. Go back and read it. But I can respond

"Should" we be infecting others?

1) Tone: I know Eric doesn't quite mean it this way, and I'm really not
offended, but Eric makes this Evelyn out to sounds something like a member
of an aboriginal culture that we have no right disturbing. It's elitist[1],
which isn't too big of a problem, but it's good to have that pointed out so
one can analyze whether the elitism is warrented or not. Sounds rather
"Prime Directive"ish to me[1]. I guess the question to ask here is "are we
that sure that we're right?" and if we are, does that sureness constitute
level 2 thinking?

2) Should we: How can we not? Vectors frequently carry diseases with no
knowledge that they are carriers, or that they infect others. Know why they
put people in bubbles? To keep out the vectors. I'd argue that just by
having contact with Evelyn, you've already infected her. The new memes may
not take hold, and may be rejected, but you *have* changed the way she
thinks about some things. Memetics operates whether or not you intend to
apply it.

3) Action: Frankly, I don't think that people should go rocking other
people's boats too hard. There are exceptions. I take everyone's presence
here as permission for me to rock your boat, and I expect you to do the
same. You are right, Eric -- if you try to push Evelyn into memetic
thinking, you've basically "converted" her. Consider these Christian
statements about faith, set beside your three statements about how she will

a) You cannot see God operating in your life because you are incapable of
it; Only God's chosen can see God; you are locked in a logical/scientist
You are "incapable" of understanding Memetics; you are locked in an
authoritarian mindset; you do not have the knoweldge/education/intellectual
tools to believe what I am saying.

b) You reject God because you are under the influence of Satan.
You reject Memetics because you are under the influence of Christianity.

c) I've gotten you to accept Christ into your life, or you are considering
She's thinking real hard. I can tell, because she agrees with me.

Are you at level 2 with memetics, instead of 3? Indeed, can anyone truely
reach level 3 at all? I doubt it.


John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years