Re: virus: Power

Fri, 26 Jul 1996 15:15:34 -0500

>The meme that does not allow for the validity of memetics is not a true
>meme-- it is simply ignorance of the subtleties of memetics.

I'm afraid I don't agree with you here. Complexes of memes with are firmly
entrenched in an agent's consciousness can act as filters for incoming
memes. These are definitely memetic structures, and such structures, for
instance "fear of heresy" might keep someone from even considering a
memetic viewpoint.

I was at the postoffice with an armload of identical packages (C
refrigerator magnets). The guy behind me in line, seeing that the packages
were going to various countries, asked me what kind of business I was in.
I showed him one of the magnets and launched into my entry-level memetics
presentation. Someone else asked some questions and soon I had an
audience. As I was leaving the postoffice, another man asked me what I'd
been talking about. I launched back into the presentation, and I saw his
eyes light up with intellectual curiousity. I got through the 2 minute
speal, and he seemed to want more. I made some reference to evolution and
he instantly broke eye contact and muttered something in the way of a
dismissal. I'd lost him. He had some memetic filters in place to screen
out Darwinist ideas. Memetics was slipping right past those filters until
I associated it with evolution and activated his memetic filters.

I think you were describing metamemes qua memetic filters, when you wrote
that someone might not accept memetics because:

>S/he has heard of it but is addicted to a given meme pattern and does
>not want to face the possibility that the meme pattern could be
>dismantled.(eg. curiousity kills the cat, or "I have too much to lose.")
About Metamemes:

>The metameme helps our poor besieged brains.
>The metameme is the Virus upon which this church is based.
>The metameme gives the individual power.

Here you're using 'metameme' to refer to what I'd rather call the 'meme'
meme or the 'memetics' meme. Again, I'd rather reserve the label
'metameme' for memes which exert pronounced selection pressure on other

>I think there are two ways of using memes consciously and unconsciously.
>Maybe a third-- consciously keeping others unconscious.

When we are meme-conscious we can use memes to our (personal and
collective) advantage. When we are meme-unconscious, memes use us for
their own selfish ends. (Of course memes are not selfish, and they aren't
working towards any particular end, but they act as if they were.)

I liked your observation about the Nike swoosh as a "check of approval" and
the image of millions of people paying for the comfort of wearing that
"check of approval." It confirms their sense of belonging in our corporate
consumer culture. Makes me want to rip the swoosh's off my street hikers.
Of course I won't.

Anyway, back to it. Take care, all. -KMO


The C Memetic Nexus: Propagating Consciousness