Re: virus: Normativity

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 12:47:16 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 27 Jun 1997, Eric Boyd wrote:

> KMO wrote:
> > An alternate form of the question that may be worth examining is, what
> > normative theory should Church of the Virus adherents adopt for use with
> > memetics in reaching decisions about which memes we ***should***
> > propagate.
> I don't think any decision needs to be made. Like the Church of
> Freethought, I think the very act of saying that there are no
> particular meme's we would like to advance is well and good. All we
> need to push is *ways of thinking *about* meme's* Rationality, thought
> tools. "To travel is better than to arrive". Any definite answer to
> any particular question is always open for re-evaluation. The *way*
> that one gets answers is *more*important* than the answers themselves.
> Cast off the Chains of "Truth"! Freethought!

All of these are parts of a normative theory, I think. My problem is I
don't know how to approach the question either without resorting to other
ethics (PCR, Zen, Golden Rule, etc).

How do other "Churches" go about settling questions like this?

> Of course, I don't have any control over the CoV or over the Church of
> Freethought, so all this is just my position...

Yes you do. Your visible presence here (as opposed to lurking) makes you
a controlling member. I believe we have a normative theory at work here
on the list. Although unmoderated we are quite self policing and some
ways of spreading memes are roundly frowned on (and actively fought
against). Although we may be open to /which/ memes to spread, I think
most of us are quite opinionated about /how/ we spread them. Now the task
of putting that into words might prove difficult. Maybe our doctrine
should cover *how* we select which memes to spread, rather than which
particular memes to further. (Which brings us back defining a normative
theory, I guess)

-Prof. Tim