Re: virus: A Memetic Analysis of the Lord's Prayer

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:38:27 -0500

Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:

> Personally, I suspect I should be grateful to Reed for valiantly choosing
> not to share the story, despite my curiosity. If he wishes he could
> remove it from his own memosphere, why would I want it in mine too?

You'd want it in your meme sphere because /knowledge/ is *power*.
Knowing the meme, and why it is bad, will allow you to dismiss other
meme's of the same type. Immunity, if you will.

I'll conceed this: if one tells /why/ the meme is "bad", explains why
one consciously censors it, all is well. We will have the immunity, and
not have the bad meme! Sort of like having your cake, and eating it

> In any case, we all have to censor what we choose to transmit in some manner;
> we can't transmit every meme we have at all times. Ideally, we select
> according to our own best interests, the interests of the people we're
> transmitting to, and the interests of the world as a whole (rather than
> simply according to how loud each meme yells "I'm important! Spread me!"
> independent of such considerations).

Of course, since our knowledge of what interests other people is
naturally limited, we may be in error about what we should post. I for
one am trying things I don't think I'd be interested in. Why should I
shut them out? And just exactly where does my non-interest come from?
That looks like a form of closed-mindedness to me! In fact, it's
probably my current meme-set saying "gosh, that looks like a nasty
idea... better turn attention elsewhere". Conscious variation of memes!
! ! !

(votes on this becoming the First Law of Memetics?)


anyway, methinks I'll start to censor myself before I even write it.
This mailing list is taking up too much of my time. It's been fun and
educational, but I've got this mammouth (big mouth? hmmm) reading list
and it's going nowhere quick!