virus: Re: level 3 minds

Ken Pantheists (
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 12:08:52 +0000

> From: "Hakeeb A. Nandalal" <>

(re: Richard's post on his interpretation of level 3 thinking.)

> This sounds a lot like a lecture I got... (snip) The statements quoted create
> an automatic guilt complex for people who do not consider themselves
> Level-3 material. It plays on the fear of the intellectual who is
> constantly wondering if he is really smart - which strictly speaking is
> a stupid thing to do - thereby creating a self-defeating cyclic dilemma.

I snipped your reference to Amway only in the interest of keeping the
digest leaner.

I understand where you are coming from Hakeeb, you think that there is
something unfair about Richard's discription.

I read the same post and came away with a different interpretation.

One of the most important parts of the post was his disclaimer asking to
sit with the idea without comparing it to something you already know and
forming a quck conclusion about it.

My interpretation: I didn't think of it as a lecture. Only people who
have power over you can lecture you.

Some lecturers need that power relationship in order to do their work. I
don't see that any discussion of memetics can function well in that kind
of setting, because it essentially picks apart (deconstructs if you're
trendy) those structures.

The post did remind me of the discussions I've had with artists and
performers who talk about their lives in training and their lives as
artists. Eventually there is a liberation from the techniques that you
learn to survive in the classroom/studio, to a level where you are
creating your own work and gaining recognition for it. However, it may
be years, or a lifetime before you reach a point where you are working
from *your* sources, without comparing your work to others, without
judging yourself based on your critic's value system. It is a clearer,
less impeded way of working. It is hard to obtain because cynicism,
guilt and fear do their best to hold you down.

The post isn't about a power structure, where level three people smirk
and berate those who are "under" them...

There is no power structure, because you can't be given level three by
anyone but yourself.

The power relationship exists between a person and his/her cynicism.


About a month ago we were discussing the function of parables.

(I am cooking up ideas for a story (novel?) about the early Christains
and the death of Emperor Constantin. So all kinds of ideas like this
keep bouncing around my head)

I think parables help defeat the cynical reaction to a new idea. A
parable would have taken the language about level three to a different
"space" where the listener/reader would interpret the information--
taking the time to sit with it-- because it is *not* comparable to
something he or she already knows.

I'm surprised actually, at the level of cynicism and prejudice that is
directed toward groups of people *because* of there memes. We don't
really discuss the memes without putting a value judgement on them. If
we must compare, judge and approve, why don't we move from religion to

Statement: If telling people how to live their lives is the reason
d'etre of the clergy, then surely it is the same for artists in every
medium. Let's not be fashionable bashers-- put art on your hit list now.

Back to Hakeeb's post:
> dribble he writes seems to fall under the category of what I've come to
> know as "common sense". No offense Mr. Brodie, but the above statement
> seem pretty obvious to me and I would venture that if someone needs to
> be "taught" this then no amount of readin' and schoolin' is going to
> bring them around.

May I suggest that there is an incredibly tyranical meme at work here.

Common sense is the most cynical, judgement ridden, manipulative concept
around. (hyperbole is a close second)

We are taught from an early age to identify common sense. We are asked
why we didn't use it, but we rarely take the time to actually obtain it.
What is common about common sense? There is no common sense. It's too
braod a paintbrush to be used in a discussion of memes.

Second meme: and no amount of _______ (fill in blanks) and _________ is
going to bring them (replace with group of your choice) around.

Both are effective in shutting people up.

Ken Pantheists                   
Virus Theatre         
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre