Re: virus: Re: The saga continues!

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 15:42:15 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 14 Sep 1997, D.H.Rosdeitcher wrote:

> Tad wrote:
> >NO JOKES PLEASE. It may be a very interesting study. Plase donate some
> >ideas as to what it is to be successful and how to measure it (who was/is
> >more successful: Newton, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, Richard Dawkins,
> Richard
> >Brodie, David Rosdeitcher? -- we will have to assign a specific number to
> >each person). Money is probably not the best and not the only measure. Do
> >we count how many times their names appeared on the web? Do we count
> their
> >love-affairs? For sure, we can come up with a set of questions we can ask
> >the people we study, and find out abut them something we agree to be a
> >measure of success.
> Actually, I think you could do a study on this. While individuals cannot be
> evaluated, you can use statistics to see if a particular set of memes has a
> particular effect. For instance, I believe that the work ethic memes in
> Judaism and Protestantism could lead to a prediction that those groups
> would make more money than other groups. And, in Objectivism, which seems

Only if working harder actually leads to greater wealth. The proposed
link is less direct than one would like for research purposes:
Protestantism includes belief in the virtue of hard work, which should
lead to working harder, which should lead to greater wealth. What exactly
is the proposition being tested? That Protestantism is adaptive for
monetary reasons? Did you have someone in particular in mind who was
claiming (or denying) this? I am afraid the signal-to-noise ratio is
going to be way too low for useful results here; people don't just happen
to be Protestants, they develop Protestant beliefs in a Protestant social
context with related economic conditions.

> Questions: Do people with the meme "existence exists" in their heads, have
> advantages (ie. financial,social) over people without that meme in their
> heads?
> >This may also be a great study towards finding cure for MAIDS. Please
> help.
> I agree. We should find out the benefits of having "undefined non-givens"
> like "self-esteem" and "existence" in our minds.

Not that I want to dismiss the idea of such a project. It might work
better for Objectivism than for Protestantism, since Objectivism's claims
of success are more closely related to physical-world results. I just
have doubts about devising appropriate controls.

whose virtual pet has become a dancing fool.