Re: virus: level 3 minds

David McFadzean (
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 18:26:18 -0600

At 01:17 PM 18/10/96 PDT, Vicki Rosenzweig wrote:
>This may be hopelessly simplistic, but if (as Richard Brodie says),
>"The Level-3 mind realizes that NO meme is True," isn't this mind
>accepting the meme "There is no absolute truth"? In all seriousness,

I'm sure Richard will correct me if I misrepresent him, but I think
the capitalization of Truth is supposed to insinuate that the Truth
is objective, i.e. independent of audience and representation.
However the truth of a statement can't be independent of its meaning
which is determined by the context of the statement which is necessarily
subjective. Take Richard's assertion: "There is no absolute truth."
It isn't an absoute truth because its truth value depends on what
is meant by "absolute" and "truth". If you agree with my definitions
of the terms, you may also agree the statement is true, though ipso
facto, not absolutely :-).

>this is the same problem I have with Robert Anton Wilson: it seems
>to be absolutist claim that there are no absolutes. This means there
>is at least one meme/belief that is still accepted as true. Related
>to this, on what basis does such a mind decide that a meme is
>useful? Where do its goals come from?

I think this relates to the fitness of an organism in an ecological
environment: it is a complex function of the physical environment
and the extant populations. In the case of the mind, it is a complex
function between hard-wired behaviours (e.g. survival, sex, status-seeking)
and other indigenous memes.

Question: where does language fit into this scheme? The ability to
acquire language seems to be hard-wired. Perhaps it (the ability to
acquire language, not language itself) is an example of a meme that
been translated into genes. But languages are culturally transmitted
which seems to indicate that they might be categorized as memes. But
language also seems to be necessary for the transmittal of memes, and
may have a large influence over the kinds of memes that are passed on
which makes them meta-memes if I understand that term correctly.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus