Re: virus: Re: meme usefulness

XYZ Customer Support (
Tue, 24 Dec 1996 18:41:16 -0700

> From: Ken Pantheists <>

> 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?".

> I suppose it hasn't been done yet because memetics is relatively new and
> certain types of people tend to say it's just persuasion, brainwashing,
> conditioning, preconditioning,

> those are pop psych terms that have dulled peoples "tastebuds" to the
> point that they cannot distinguish the difference between something new
> and the rut that they've taught themselve to be in.

Those are real scientific terms. You are confusing real science with
pop science. In fact, pop science makes very little use of those
terms because they aren't very popular to talk about.

> If you are asking if memetics can be applied to itself, of course-- we
> had a whole discussion of that in the Meta-meme thread. But that line of
> thought can only be useful to a certain point because it leads to a huge
> abstraction. If you say memes are about thoughts, then what is the
> thought that contains memes-- it's like asking What contains the
> universe?

> That level of abstraction is great if you want to sit in a lotus
> position on a mountian in Nepal. But I thought you were interested in
> how to *use* it?

No. What use has it been (other than it explains the world as I see it)?
The bio-mechanics can come later.

>You use it by getting off your can and applying it.

Oh! You mean like the preacher tells me about "practicing
my faith"?

> No. As an arts eductor I believe in and celebrate the creativity and
> open mindedness of all people (even lawyers) which I see displayed in
> many ways on this list, in the studio, in their lives and in their work.
> If I didn't I wouldn't be an instructor, I'd be a pedant. ( i am,
> however, very stubborn)

Appeal to authority, even your own, is not usefull. Afterall, you
can be wrong. Don't apply this to me unless you have evidence
that it is so. Maybe I'm just stubborn too?

> 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?

> No I have no inhibitions about that, since I have responded to every one
> of your posts and continue to talk to you even though you have been a
> very rude person.

Maybe you are responding to my posts merely because
I push your buttons and you can't help but respond? The
first part of any meme infection is to push buttons.

> (I still think you should apologize to Drakir for making fun of his
> British slang word for papers-- your American culture *is* showing
> through.)

I was waiting for jonesr to make that confession. He knew what was
being discussed (pot), and the effects of the POT smoke causing
cancer. He just threw in the tobacco thing without any regard
for the subject on hand, even though I explicitly said that
TOBACCO smoke and POT smoke were two separate things
that were being discussed. He didn't even bother to ask
if we were discussing PURE pot or UNPURE pot, he just
jumped right in and appended the word UNPURE. That absolutely
sounds like he was making things up despite the differences
in language, just so he could win an argument.

> 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.

> Who is that someone? You?

Everyone. Including you.

> Well-- For know Memetics is working fairly well as an extention critical
> theory (in my mind anyway :)

Keep it there then. Hehehe?

> Who's to say that Scientists shouldn't learn more about the stability of
> texts, discourse and context?

They have and they are.

> >Yes, and it was called the Dark Ages.

> Well, you aren't a very good American. Your country was founded on a
> very short list of common ends-- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
> Happiness.

The "good American" meme is a fake meme. My country was
founded on racism and religious bigotry.

> For shame-- you probably burn flags don't you.

Nope, and I don't have any interest in that sort of thing.

> (we burn them all the time up here in Canada-- just to keep warm)