Re: virus: Power

Ken Pantheists (
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 15:21:01 -0700

Shira Evans wrote:

> While knowledge is a powerful force, part of its power comes from its
> state of flux. If we try to determine a position for memes, wouldn't
> we be mocking its true force? If fear of the "evil" power that memes
> might give becomes the modivating factor for position, then we are
> trapped by our own enlightenment.

I agree, but with knowlege comes responsibility. I remember hearing a
while ago that (now I don't know this for sure, so please don't sue
me)-- Marshall McLuhan, after years of being THE communications guru
ended up as an advertising consultant for Ford Motors. Kind of halo-
tarnishing, no?

I know that taking a position puts one in the uncomfortable position of
saying, "this is right and that is wrong". Most of the people on this
list are scientists of some ilk and prefer (rightly) to avoid judgement
untill "all the data is in". I agree- flux is great.

My beef is with the "forked tongue" of memetics. One side of the mouth
says, "liberate yourself from living unconsciously, sieze your power"
the other side says "hey, the status quo is at stake, beef up your memes
and give them teeth."

I don't know-- maybe it's because memetics is a relatively new science
and when its practitioners need to justify it they use different lines
for different audiences.

The paths of good and evil have nothing to do, really, with memetics
itself-- but with how it is used.

A person struggling with self empowerment can use memetics to decypher
the world-- see what influence the world has on him/her and how s/he can
influence the world.

The KKK will use memetics to bait, frighten and manipulate without
considering their own enslavement to their own memes. (eg. That's just
the way the world works)

It *may* be possible the generate strong tooth-and-claw memes that give
people the ability to empower themselves. The most successful one I've
seen so far is the basic definintion of "meme"-- the "meme" meme.

> Is it really possible for the Virian Church to promote "the true path
> of Virianity"?

Sure, why not? One confronts ethical dilemmas when dealing with genetic
material, why wouldn't the same hold true for memetic material?

Ken Pantheists                          
Virus Theatre           
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre