RE: virus: MEME UPDATE: To Censor Or Not?

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:50:43 -0800

Dave Pape wrote:

>Richard, I disagree with your claim that sometimes we human beings can
>"think for ourselves" and that sometimes "we are sheep". In saying that
>yourself can appraise and reject memes connected with advertising or
>decadence" but that others can't, you take a narrow view of memes'
>on your decisions.

If you've read my book, I hardly think it's fair to say I take a narrow
view of memes' influence on my decisions.
>I don't believe in free will.

Neither do I. Of course, I also don't believe in NO free will.

>"I" am resource in which memes/ideas interact, like biological
>organisms in
>an ecology. What I used to think was "a new idea" is an association
>existing memes and ideas. Like relationships develop between genetic
>entities in the world of biology, giving rise to ecological systems.

How is this an empowering model?
>I think what you call "Viruses of the Mind" are really memes that (in
>view) give rise to behaviours deleterious to individual and social
>And I think you're led by memes just as much as a Branded Cola Addict:

Doesn't sound like you've read my book. Viruses of the mind are not
memes, they are self-replicating cultural artifacts such as cults and
chain letters. The way they self-replicate is by programming people with
>When a Coke advert impinges on your brain, just try and stop the idea
>marketers are trying to manipulate me!" from arising. You can't.

Actually, you can.

>And if you
>convince a Colaholic to stop paying for brands, you haven't taught them
>think freely- it's just that your transmitted memes have wrested
>control of
>your subject/protegee/victim's brain from memes which led them to pay
>the Coke.

My aim IS to teach them to think freely. I am all for consciousness!

>If you believe in non-manipulation of thought, how do you justify
>your own ideas in your website and newsletter? Aren't you trying to
>make me
>think like you? Aren't your memes trying to attack your readers'
>belief-spaces, just like Coke's?

But Dave, mine are FRIENDLY memes!

> I think the only stance for the true
>memeticist is to be non-prescritive, to play down their emotional
>to particular memes, and to admit that s/he is nothing more than memes
>ideas, which will try and gain neural resource from other memes/ideas.

I covered this in the book, which you should read. Apathy allows bad
memes to win.
>Sorry if I'm muscling in on the list and offending people; this is my
>favourite world-view, so I feel fairly strongly and vocal about it, and
>just found your pages, so I'm excited.

Welcome to the list! Glad to have you. =)
>Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
>CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
>Do you know what a "meme" is?