RE: virus: Just asking...

Wright, James 7929 (
Tue, 15 Jul 97 12:13:00 EDT

From: Tim Rhodes[]
I tremble in fear of starting this all up again and having it veer of, of
its own power, into misplaced discussions of ideologies once again.

Wade wrote:

> Perhaps I have come off a bit harsh, but I am too old to be bothered by

> mystical bullshit any more. It has had its thousand years of attempting

> to make its point.


>>>Is it in our interest to look at what kind of structure is used by a
meme complex such as this, that allows it to survive for 1000 plus

I would think so; it might even be demonstrably neglectful not to.

>>>Or, is it even a complex proper? Is "the M-word" really a type of
shell employed by a large number of different memes because of its
effectiveness? If this is the case, do we need to look into /why/ this
particular protein shell is so very good at worming itself past other
defenses? <<<

Yes, I think it is.
<Mysticism> shell might have components of:
[POWER] I know something you don't, which I can use to control you.
[FEAR] What I know about, and you don't, can hurt you.
[SEX] Don't you want your children to know about this? There's a
[HUNGER] This knowledge can satisfy your cravings, for food, power,
It would appear that <Mysticism> shell has hooks into several of the
motivators that are common to humanity; once a secret base of knowledge
is postulated, then all those who are not in on the secret need only have
their vulnerability demonstrated ONCE to persuade all those onlookers
(who are susceptable to persuasion by example, and don't have to be
burned personally to recognize the power of fire) that the <mystic> is a
person above the normal societal rules. The <mystic> has powers that
society in general doesn't enjoy, and can show superiority in some
area(s). Of course, the <mystic> must still function in society, or his
<mystic> meme will burn out into obscurity at the conclusion of his (her)

>>> Does it have a quality we can extract and use to spread other
memes (science, Darwinism, memetics, etc.)?<<<

Science, as far as many in the general populace are concerned, ALREADY
uses the <mysticism> meme; the main difference is that so many people
choose to invest it with the <mysticism> cloak because they cannot / will
not take the time and effort to learn how it works. There's a laser in
every CD player; how many people can you name that UNDERSTAND how a laser
works? Yet they accept them, without understanding or questioning, all
the time. Isn't this a form of <mysticism>, practiced in a large degree
everywhere everyday? The "gee whiz, what a neat toy!" attitude lessens
the emotional impact (people generally don't worship their CD players),
but it does not lessen the <mystery>, which I feel is the core of
Anyone else want to take a crack at Tim's question?
Thanks for a thought-provoking question, Tim.