RE: virus: banner ad prototype

David McFadzean (
Wed, 31 Dec 1997 16:31:02 -0700

At 04:41 PM 12/31/97 -0500, Lena Rotenberg wrote:

>Reaction upon seeing the page: 1) how the heck can anybody affirm they
>know what I want? 2) I don't want anything to do with biohazards; 3) this
>reminds me of scientology BS (finally looked into it yesterday!), when they
>affirm that unless I adopt their philosophy we will blow ourselves up with
>H bombs; 4) these people think in terms of black and white; 5) these people
>are nuts and I want out of here.

Comments on reactions:
1) We think you want a meaningful life and happiness. If we're wrong about
that, then I guess we have nothing to offer.
2) Maybe we should just stick with the Ideohazard? (That symbol that the
biohazard morphs into)
3) How so? I mean, how do you get a threat out of it?
4) Do you think the same thing about everything represented by black & white
5) Maybe we are nuts :)

I do appreciate your comments. Obviously this particular ad doesn't work
on whatever demographic you're in (I'm not sure what that might be.)

>Why are we designing memes that give the opposite message to the one we
>want to promote? Why not appeal to some key positive ideas instead --
>rationality as a means to improve the human condition; the potential of
>memetics in attaining such results; the potential of uniting like-minded
>people over the Internet in order to act?

Sounds good, how do we do that? Different symbol? If so, what?
More colours? What text would attract someone like you? (Remember,
we need really short phrases to fit in a banner ad.)

Can we go with a multiple vector approach, or does the orthodox Virus
motif (tongue-in-cheek pseudo-evil look) potentially undermine our
other efforts?

>considering that our main venue is the internet, that's not good. "Virus"
>also connotes something destructive which is usually not engineered to
>improve anyone's lot: a virus is something that one inadevertently gets
>infected with, suffers from, and can even die from.

Same with ideas. If that wasn't true, there would be no need for the CoV.

>As for "lucifer", a non-theistic approach to religion should not risk being
>even remotely confused with satanism.

Being an atheist doesn't mean necessarily underestimating the power of myth.
At the time I was thinking that a controversial domain name would generate
some publicity.

>Why not "meme" instead of "virus", which would attract people who, like
>myself, are intrigued by their positive potential? I think that the spooky
>attracts the spooky. If we design rational, it will attract the rational.

Church of Meme or just Meme? Do you think it would be easier to propagate
the meme-complex as a religion or a philosophy?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus