Re: virus: Re: sociological change
Sun, 29 Dec 1996 12:56:23 -0500

Atkins wrote:
<< Alex wrote:
On the contrary, I /can/ communicate what its like to be any or all of
the above just as I can communicate what its like to be a soldier
fighting for galactic peace on the outer rim or a sorcerer-apprectice in
a world that never was.

In order for you to communicate two things have to happen. You need to
give the message and the message has tobe received.

What you can do is lie about what it's like to be any of those people.

The credibility of your lie will depend on how many people are willing
to be swept up in it. (welcome to the first virus-acting workshop) ;)
---end quote----
Is the ability to empathize nothing more than a lie to you? One of the main
use of being able to "put yourself in someone else shoes" is to empathizes.
Many activist groups rely on them being able to spread memes that at least
on some level lets their audience know what it's like to have to have aids or
be a catholic wainting for an abortion or whatever they feel will make them
more empathize with their constituence.

You may argue that this is not the same as knowing what its like. True on an
individual level and true we can't know how it feel in it's entirty but so
what. The reality is that no one knows exactly what any given individual is
going thru: knowledge doesn't work that way. But given a suffient
understanding of any other person's situation, an individual can "feel" the
emotions and experience the toughts in someone else situation.

As far as being a considered a sham by actual people with aids or what ever
group I'm trying to mimic. I'ts absurd to think that such a hokes could not
be done successfully. Infact, a person could send a letter to a local aids
support group (assumed consisting of people going thru the same experience)
saying that your girlfriend or just a friend and that you have a friend
(i.e. you) who you have learned he has aids (forging some document that says
you have aids might be required) and that he (you) is having problem
accepting the fact. The odds are that I would not have to change my
behaviour at all and their would be people with aids that would believe I
have aids so strongly that they will try to convince me. The signifigance of
this example is that even amoung individuals that experinece the same event
there will be differences in how the they react and these differences can be
exploited for the purposes of mimicry. I would be willing to bet there are
con artist right know who have convinced aids victims that they had aids and
are know "cured" ,selling their brand of "snake-oil".

Ray Higgins