RE: virus: MS Weapon

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 6 Oct 1997 21:56:42 -0700

On Friday, October 3, 1997 9:16 AM, David McFadzean
[] wrote:
> Level-3's most famous advocate specifically excluded the scientific/
> rational belief system in a recent message.

Imagine a man is in prison and is served slop every day. The man notices
people getting sick, dying, and so on and besides the slop tastes yucky. So
he gets together with a few of the other prisoners and petitions through
the court system to be fed balanced meals. The court agrees, and now the
prisoners are fed a diet where each meal provides the exact nutritional
values that best support the average human body. Success!

Then one day, a visitor comes and starts talking about some new restaurants
that have opened up. He describes a recent meal of fried noodles, chicken
with peanut sauce, and for dessert: chocolate cake a la mode! The man is
aghast! "Don't you know what you're doing to your body?" he cries. "You
mustn't eat that!" And he proceeds to describe the perfectly balanced meals
that he has strived to get the prison to serve him. He goes on to outline a
plan to introduce legislation that would make every restaurant do the same
thing, finally ending the stupidity of people eating irrational diets.

The visitor tires of the man's company and doesn't come back.

> I was assuming that effectiveness required both an understanding of
> the way things are (maybe imperfectly, but good enough) and the ability
> to control how things will be (again, imperfectly).

A poor assumption.

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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