Re: virus: "Religion"?

David McFadzean (
Fri, 09 Aug 1996 15:35:48 -0600

At 12:50 PM 09/08/96 -0400, Reed Garrett Konsler wrote:

>What is in a name?

Quite a bit actually. A name embodies a set of provisional
effects manifested when situated in a particular context. This is
what I identify with inherent meaning. I attribute a great deal
of importance to names, which is why I have spent so much time and
effort naming my creations.

>Is this name that vital? I didn't think so when I joined. If you and
>David think so, then I'm not going to try to dissuade you. I think you're
>defending a trivial point though; getting too emotional over a peripheral
>issue. I don't like the name, but I'm still here.

If you (or anyone else) has a better name, let's hear it.

>>Unless of course all subscribers to the list are members of the
>>CoV by definition.
>I repectfully disagree. You can define things in your own mind however you
>like; it doesn't make it so. If I walk into a church am I religious? Am I
>automatically a memeber of the denomination? What if I participate in some

The CoV is not currently a church in the same sense as "real" churches. If
the members of this mailing list are not members of the CoV (and I'm quite
willing to concede they are not), then the CoV has no members.

>This is not a bi-polar argument. We can value religion and religious
>experience (and art) without being religious ourselves. We can understand
>the role of a chuch and create institutions to fulfill the same needs
>without calling them church. We can have the rituals, the spiritual
>experiences, and the sublime without tying them to the baggage of the past.

Possibly, but by the same token if we detach ourselves too much we
won't even be competing in the same game anymore.

>We are reminding people of the very memes you are trying to replace. Every
>time you use a trigger word you remind people of their indoctrination.
>Maybe, with great effort, you can use this process to disinfect them by
>appropriating and redefining the language. But I don't think we're
>anywhere near that stage yet.

I think this memetic niche we are attempting to take over is largely defined
by the same language game (a la Wittengenstein) you want to avoid. Sure there
are unwanted connotations associated with the terms we use, but is inventing
a new vocabulary really a viable solution? And even if it is, wouldn't we
be better off pursuing both vectors rather than choosing one over the other?
That is essentially what I was getting at by offering free webspace to any
takers. The more vectors the better: why not spread the Meme through religion,
comics, philosophy, fiction, theatre, fine art, music, political parties
and Saturday morning cartoons?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus