Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #119

XYZ Customer Support (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 19:50:16 -0700

> From: Ken Pantheists <>

>First of all, let me get this out of the way. I don't take well to
>being called inattentive just because I don't see things the way you

Then there should be no problem here. Furthermore, I am sorry if I
have you confused with someone else here who said that I supposedly
started the thread on dreaming when I obviously didn't.

>Well, after we determine that it is a meme infection, we can't be lazy
>and just say "done! that's figured out, on to the next thing-- what
>fancy name shall I call this?...hmmm"

It already had a name: persuasion, brainwashing, conditioning,
preconditioning, etc.

>You say to yourself that if it is like an infection how is it
>transmitted? What makes a healthy environment for racism? and, above
>all, if racism is an infection then there must be antibodies to fight
>it. What is an effective meme that counters racism? You can engineer
>one if you understand how racism works and flourishes.

So why hasn't this been done with memes? I thought memes was useful?
Actually, a better (and more fair) question is, "Can it be done at
all with memes?".

>It wasn't a prophesy since it isn't a prediction. I was describing
>what life was like before the scientific method.

>BTW and totally off topic-- prophecy is not prediction it is revelation.

You were totally off topic when you called my statement a "dark
prophesy". And BTW, you are confusing prophecy with prophesy. Either
way they are both synonyms for the words "foretell" and "prediction".

>You are implying that scientist, sociologists, political theorists
>could not be as "open-minded" as you which is just conceitedness. You
>aren't open-minded to memetics, you are gullible.

>I don't see the connection between this and what I said.

Not even a little?

>My intended point was that on an e-mail list, one can overcome some
>of the inhibitions and social structures that prevent people from
>disparate areas of study from getting together and just "hashing
>out" ideas.

That is what I have been trying to do. Did it ever occur to you that
maybe you have some inhibitions that prevent you from getting
together and "hashing out" (anti-science) memes?

>I am not gullible. I am not an easy score XYZ: neither are the other
>members of this list.

We are all easy scores. It is when you think that you aren't that you
really are the most vulnerable.

>I just wish you weren't so ornory, rude and patronizing.

Is my American culture showing through?

>If your biggest bone is our use of the word science-- well, I don't
>care if we use it or not.

My biggest bone is, if someone wants memes to be a science and not
just another fad, then they should learn more about what science says
about speculation, fantasy, logic, and methodology.

>I know of people in the art world who shudder to think of textiles
>and pottery as art. I guess you're kind of like them.

A nerd? Hehehe!

>It's funny how you put so much energy into working out what memetics
>is not rather than focussing on how it works.

It works? When?

>Could it be that we are all so stuck in our own corners so deeply
>that when a good idea comes along we are shocked, dismayed, angered,
>bewildered that it actually crosses disciplines?

Memes belongs to the realm of psycholgy and neurobiology. It
obviously isn't art, sculpturing, surfing (Internet or otherwise),
chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, and so on. It has very well
defined borders, in other words, that make it easy to classify.

>Wasn't there some point in history when all human thought and
>endeavour was put toward one or a short list of ends?

Yes, and it was called the Dark Ages.

>Have a happy holiday.

Thank you very much Stephen. You too.