RE: virus: Re: Virus List Terminology

Richard Brodie (
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 12:59:13 -0700

On Thursday, October 9, 1997 10:31 PM, Gregory Thomas
[] wrote:
> As a newcomer to the list I have asked for help in understanding the
> terminology and have gotten some excellent support from Tadeusz (Tad)
> After reviewing some of the historical discussion on MS Flip and Level 2,
> Level 3 differences, my initial thought is that Level 3 would not do well
in a prisoner's
> dilemma test where there was any kind of information sharing between

Since a Level-3 player can adopt any useful strategy, his participation
would be a superset of a Level-2 player, so I don't get your point.

> Maybe Level 3 adaptability would work in a limited test where the Level 3
individual temporarily
> adopted a set strategy for the period of the test, but as you apply it to
> constantly shifting paradigms (as in Level 3) would lead to lack of
trust. Trust is
> important, and leads to access to additional resources, a clear survival
> and power benefit. (If you trust someone, you might lend them money,

Well. In the first place, reaching Level 3 doesn't mean you discard your
values or integrity. On the contrary, you can reprogram your silly random
memes to support your values. In the second place, it's the APPEARANCE of
trust that leads to all the goodies you mention, and a Level-3 player can
generally fool enough of the people enough of the time to get what she

> On the other hand, specific goal seeking behavior leads to high levels of
> trust. This is someone you can count on.

I agree. As someone once told me, enlightened people make lousy employees.
Hire Level-2ers.

> So is Level 3 specific goal seeking or adaptable paradigms?
> And, what is the repines of Level 3 to a iterated prisoner's dilemma?

I don't know what this means.

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