RE: virus: Hypocrisy

Richard Brodie (
Tue, 28 May 1996 10:01:26 -0700

>From the example that sometimes it
>is not good to be too accurate (I agree with that) Richard somehow
>jumps to
>a conclusion that the "Absolute Truth" does not exist and brings Hitler
>it (followed by Bill's Yugoslavia) -- a perfect push-button technique.

I don't remember saying that Absolute Truth doesn't exist. Perhaps I
said something similar that you rephrased?

Also, it is a non sequitur for you to criticize arguments because they
contain bundling or push-buttons. That neither adds to nor subtracts
from the value of the model.
>Richard ridicules me

I do NOT ridicule you; I adore you! I may "tease" you now and then, but
be assured I only do that with my dearest friends. =)

>instead of answering my question about what he means by
>"principled life".

Tad, I wrote a WHOLE BOOK on what that means!

> In fact he believes there are "best memes" or "most
>useful memes".

Only in a given context.

>Obviously he believes in "the truth" (see the NFL quote

Naming something does not imply belief in it. Santa Claus.

>What are "the most useful memes" Richard suggests we program
>ourselves with? How do we find them? No answer...

Again, my book Getting Past OK is entirely devoted to this subject, as
is Chapter 12 of Virus of the Mind.

>To me we can either believe that the world is "rational, predictable,
>intelligible" or that the world is "contradictory, bewildering,
>Whatever we name it the second belief is being spread by "cultural
>relativists" (as I believe Richard Dawkins calls them). Apparently
>some --
>otherwise wise men -- spread it too. A clear example of MEMETICAL

Why this dichotomy? Maybe the world is sometimes rational, predictable,
intelligible, and sometimes contradictory, bewildering, unknowable.
>(2) There is no diference between "most truthful" and "most useful"

This I definitely disagree with. The classic example is the pep-talk to
the football team. Programming them with the TRUE chances of their
winning will produce poor results compared with programming them with
can-do memes.
>I think the slogan "a scientific goal to program ourselves with the
>useful memes" is meaningless if we do not define what we mean by "most
>useful". How do we "scientifically" measure the usefulness of a meme?
>anybody help? Richard, maybe?...

Studies have been done showing that students who are told that they have
exceptional aptitude (regardless of the truth of the statement) do
better in school than those who are told they have poor aptitude. That
is scientifically measuring the usefulness of a meme.
>>Memes can have two relationships with our genetic code. Symbotic
>>or parasitic. The symbiotic means that the success of the memepatterns
>>somehow has a positive effekt on the success of our genetic patterns.
>>The parasitic means that the memepattern simply freeloads on our
>>symbiotically developed skills of spreading memes. Since we are being
>>more and more controlled by parasitic memes; i.e. getting a new state of
>>the art computer rather than another kid, or spending so much time
>>listening to bad news on the TV that we decide the world is not fit
>>for kids in the first place; its important to specify what you intend your
>>memes to be usefull for. Making babys, securing the ones you allredy have,
>>or entering further into virtual reality. (thats Meme Heaven)
>>It's still difficult to measure usefullness but keeping the two diffrent
>>biological and cultural, apart is a nessesary step on the way.

Again this is Chapter 12 stuff. I don't think that EITHER being a slave
to your genes OR being a slave to your memes is a desirable life. But
that's really up to each of us, isn't it?
>We are memes' food. What is their
>direction? What are they evolving towards?

Towards being better and better at their job of enslaving our minds.
UNLESS we get enough people CONSCIOUS of memetics that we can seize the
reins for ourselves.
>Thank you all very much for listening. I will be dematerializing soon
>going to TeTa. Will be back in late September. When I come back
>book will be available in Polish (it all depends on Marek now). It was
>meeting all of you.

I hope you will still be on email!
>Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
>CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
>Do you know what a "meme" is?