Re: virus: Re: virian tarot
Thu, 3 Oct 1996 23:36:10 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 30 Sep 1996, Jason McVean wrote:

> Ken Pantheists wrote:
> > J McVean wrote
> > "My main concern with this idea is pretty fundamental. The first
> > bit of text on
> >
> > What is the Tarot? It is a system of cards often used for
> > divination, as well as spells, meditation, and many other
> > things.
> >
> > I understand what you are saying. The belief that shaking a rattle will
> > cause it to rain is not very virain, but the idea of using your mind and
> > your exert your desires in the world is very virian-- and very
> > "spell-like". Casting a spell on someone (a curse, a blessing) is merely
> > sending powerfully engineered memes.
> > So powerful that the recipient "fulfils the prophecy".
> I didn't mean to imply that the Virain Tarot couldn't be done.
> But a fine line must be walked. If someone were to pick up a
> Virian Tarot deck and not know anything about memetics, it could
> be quite possible for said person to use it much as a Tarot deck
> is used if the resemblance to too close. The first step to
> distancing the idea from Tarot is probably to stop calling the
> idea Virian Tarot. At the same time, if you retain none of the
> Tarot concepts (i.e., "reading" the cards), there is the risk
> that the deck would become a fancy set of flashcards.

Altering the name won't help. The memetic equation here is "Fancy
artwork"+"On cards" = "Can use like Tarot deck, given instructions"

As KMO has noted, we must be careful with the definitions and instructions.
That's where we can redirect its use.

/ Kenneth Boyd