Re: virus: Tobacco vs. Others

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 21:26:38 -0500

Marc Swenson wrote:
> I don't believe that advertising is necessarily at fault here (though I
> agree, it is not usually in the public interest). While mis- or
> non-information abounds, the minimal "truths" about tobacco have

*remember*: truth has very little to do with how well a meme spreads.

> generally not led to the demise of tobacco. At what point is the public
> responsible for informing, and indeed acting upon that information for
> themselves?


"Responsible Freedom"

I beleive that *responsibility* should *always* be tied to *freedom*.
That is, where ever freedom abounds, responsibility should be present.
The failure to do this, I contend, is at the heart of many of societies'

In learning, this responsibility shows up as *conscious* memetic
variation. Research *all* sides, expose yourself to *all* "truths"

So, you see, in advertising (where only the *positive* side is
presented, of course) people *should* (note normative definition) act
responsibly and seek out the *dissadvantages* as well. The freedom
that has been granted to the tobacco companies necessitates this.
Failure to involve responsibility results in "brain washing":

"...the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but
follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds..."
--Thomas Jefferson

(and so if only *positive* evidence is proposed, belief in the meme is


I am thankful that here in Canada we have those "Surgon's General
Warning" deals... to bad it's not enough!

> Minimal courses in memetics as a requirement for schooling,
> perhaps?

Most definatly. (start campaining now: apocalypse meme, danger meme) I
think about grade 6. And again in grade 7. And again in grade 8. And
again... 9, 10, 11, 12.

And then advertising campains. <repetition>. Let's use the science of
memetics to *spread* the science of memetics!