RE: virus: Existence and Ego

Brett Lane Robertson (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 23:25:45 -0500

Prof Tim,

Are you saying that memes are both influenced by the person and that they
influence different people differently--that they are variable in their
*application*? While this would suggest that the exact "cost of relegating
yet another mental process to the realm of the meme" cannot be determined
(a) independently of the person, or (b) independently of the environment
(manifestation)...can they be determined by the meme itself (a flu bug has
different effects but is still a flu bug); or can we say in general that
memes do "this or that": Is there some way to determine in a general way if
we should encourage meme-infestation or discourage it?

For example: Do memes limit conscious choice? Do memes favor more complex
organisms at the detriment of average or below average survival? Do memes
create states of mystification and trance? Are memes energy hogs? (and I
say that all of these apply). If our psychological health can be improve
through the avoidance and/or proper utilization of a meme (through ego
choice?), what would that influence look like--I have proposed that meme
development be discouraged (though now I am not so sure).


At 11:38 AM 9/12/97 -0700, you wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

>> 3. What will be the unexpected cost of relegating yet another mental
>> process to the realm of the meme[?]

>As I see it there are elements that regulate the intake and application of
>memes within the memetic vector's (human mind's) meme-set. These are /in
>some way/ linked to the ego (*I* am using ego in a simple way here, to
>mean the the internal narrator or the "I" that is a product of
>consciousness). These "elements" (and I'm just calling them that because
>I have yet to work out a clear understanding of their nature), these
>elements, although they may be effected by /some/ memes (in much the
>same way an OS may be effected by /some/ programs) are not themselves
>memes, as I see it.

>A more detailed rant on the topic is in the works (some of you have
>already seen the first few pages) and hopefully it will shed some light
>on the matter. (Or I may just be blowing smoke... I haven't gotten any
>feedback on those first pages yet, so I may be way off the mark!)

>Anyway, I hope to share the rant with all of you in the coming weeks as it
>nears completion. Until then:

>"If there is an imagined element that regulates the uptake and retention
>of memes from the vector's environment, call it R(x), and another element
>that oversees the application of retained memes within the vector's value
>system, call that element V(x), we can then see that, despite being
>submerged in the same environment, different memetic vectors with
>different R(x) and V(x) values may manifest entirely different
>personalities, beliefs, or meme-sets as a result of that same

>-Prof. Tim

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