RE: virus: Power

Mon, 29 Jul 1996 08:22:28 -1000

I wrote:

>>As I noted previously, there's not enough dissagreement on the
>>of memetic material' to sustain a spirited thread. We seem to agree
>>'fire-wall' regulation is ineffective (and I would add that it is
>>counter-productive and immoral).

To which Richard responded:
>I do not agree with this. Censorship of cigarette ads in the US has
>directly resulted in drastically lower smoking rates here while they are
>increasing in countries with new cigarette advertising.

I'm not a consequentialist. I don't believe that ends justify means. I'm
about to give a riduculous sounding example. I don't mean to ridicule, but
the example makes my point. Suppose we forced all drivers to strap human
infants to their front and back bumpers (assume the babies' needs would
met. They'd be fine except in case of a crash.). People would exercise
considerably more caution while driving than they do currently. Fewer
people would die on the road. This would be a good result achieved by an
evil means.

The world would be a much better place if people stopped eating beef and
drinking alcohol, but it would be stupid to try to ban burgers and beer.
People would be dropping dead from e-colli contaminated beef. One thing
that prohibition and the drug war have illustrated quite clearly is that
you can't effectively legislate that people do what's good for them.
Further more, when you deny people the option of doing something stupid or
self-destructive, you rob them of the capacity for moral choice. (Hope your
Clockwork Orange association memes are in an activated state.) (We can of
course require that people respect the rights of others and we can hold
them accountable when they fail to do so.)
>> 'Node-level' regulation is feasible and
>>amounts to each person taking responsibility for examining their
>>not only in terms of the practical benefits which accrue from those
>>beliefs, but in terms of thier source, internal consistancy and
>>with other beliefs.
>But Kevin, can you really believe that the masses will ever be
>enlightened, committed, or interested enough to make that work?

Call me an optimist.

>Remember, most people do not think nearly as abstractly or logically as
>you do. Other means are necessary to educate people about memetics.

Sure. It's our responsibility to get the word out. I do so by providing a
visual hitching post (icon) for the Metameme and by appealing to interest
in nubile scantily clad bodies. I advocate luring people towards
consciousness with bait that appeals to the semi-conscious (Buddhists call
this employing 'expedient means') . I do not advocate viewing our
relativly sophisticated understanding of how replicative informational
entites affect human behavior as a liscence to censor.

Now, this is my idea of a thread. :) Take care, gang. -KMO


You will propagate the C memetic complex.
You will be Conscious of your role as memetic vector.
Resistance is futile.