RE: virus: Walk your talk

Richard Brodie (
Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:17:59 -0700

On Thursday, October 16, 1997 8:52 PM, Tadeusz Niwinski []
> I am trying to match what you write in your books (which I also highly
> recommend) and what you do here on this list. When Nametag said he
> like his name in quotes in your posts to be changed to "Nametag", first
> thing you did was to deny you did it and the second thing you did was to
> accuse him of "accusing you without facts"[1]. Then, after I noticed
> "you or your computer" did it four times, you came with "we are both
> Yes, not been, you wrote "We are both right", as if being right was the
> only issue here. And of course, to feel better and show how "right" you
> were you accused both of us[2] for absolutely no other reason.

Look, I feel like Monty Python's Brian..."he hath brought forth juniper
berries"... "it's a bloody juniper BUSH!"

Listen: every time I send a message, my spell checker pops up with a bunch
of dialog boxes asking me to ignore "spelling errors" like people's email
addresses. Usually the default is "ignore." Occasionally it will propose a
change, such as "Nametag" for "Nateman," and the default is "change"
instead. I'm so used to just hitting Enter to get rid of the stupid dialog
boxes that sometimes I inadvertently hit Enter and something gets changed
inappropriately. That's the end of it, OK? No malicious intent. Now you can
either be self-righteous or laugh.

> What other than "pretending to be always right" motive would you have in
> this case? I am glad this is a small enough "affair" we can use to
> understand all the memes which are involved here. I am sure we can
> it without getting too emotional.

I was hoping to stimulate your thinking. Apparently I stimulated your
bitterness instead.

> I am trying to understand what you mean when you say
> "I don't accept 'being right' as a valid life purpose!".
> I am curious of what you want to say (and if you don't want to -- it's
> an answer) about the relationship between what you teach and what you do.
> In other words, how you "walk your talk".

I would suggest that if you see inconsistency between what I teach and how
I live my life, there are two fruitful paths to take. One, consider that I
may not be as enlightened or perfect a being as you thought. Two, consider
that you may not understand me or my teachings as well as you thought. You
keep harping on apparent inconsistencies in my words and behavior, accusing
me of being manipulative, dishonest, and so on. So what? I never said I was
so great. Get over it! Find someone who you like better and learn from
them! How about Reed? He writes better than me and probably lives cleaner.
Who told you you could hold me up to the light of perfection? Who told you
I was required to "walk my talk" or live by any number of other inane
self-help aphorisms?

> On the outside we both teach similar things, we both wrote two books and
> both teach self-help seminars, so I am obviously very much interested in
> what you say "just-between-us-Virions". You claim "it is better to be
> than right" (as David very well characterized your Level-3 concept) and
> demonstrate it with specific action on this list. This is great. I see
> clearly that "if truth and happiness conflict" and you choose happiness,
> only happiness you can get is the MS Happiness, which is far from the
> thing.

You're locked into the one-model theory of truth. If truth and happiness
conflict, you can switch models and still hold beliefs just as true that
don't conflict with your happiness. Please think about this for more than
five minutes before discarding/arguing with it.

> On the outside I also spread your memes in Poland by publishing the
> of the Mind", which leads me to my today's mail from Poland: the first
> comments I've received since the publication of the "Virus of the Mind".
> And I really *happy* about it. (if my translation is not accurate I
> the original[3]):

I'm still eagerly awaiting my copies!

Love, R

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