Re: virus: Re:virtuality
Tue, 31 Dec 96 15:34:23 GMT

Alex Williams wrote:

> We need to distinguish between `memetics,' the field of the study of
> memes and `memetics,' the actual environment of memes hosted by one or
> more entities. I, following Atkins' lead, have been refering to the
> latter as `memesphere' in the past and it seems to cut down on
> confusion.

OK, memesphere is the new word in my Vocab. I'll try and remember to use
it, but if I don't, remind me :)

> The memess of those who possess the new meme "the world is virtual"
> would undergo radical change, possibly; the study of memetics,
> however, would be unaffected.

Well I'm talking about the memesphere in that case. Sorry, almost every occasion
where I have employed the term memetics, I've been refering to the memesphere.

> > Heh, OK, that's not exactly what I meant. I was saying that pain itself is
> > not damaging (Of course, I guess that it depends on the quantity of the pain,
> > I suppose a heart attack could occur if there is too much for the body to cope
> > with). In the instance of torture, I would argue that the causing of pain to
> > a "real" body cannot be undamaging. Chinese water torture causes brain damage
> > (I think :), Electric shocks of a high enough amperage kill braincells and
> > nerve cells, sticking knives in people severs flesh, etc etc....
> >
> I can give you electric shocks that you'd find quite unpleasant for
> long periods of time without any physical harm befalling you.

Wahey, so tell me, where do you live ;P

> If we
> really want to agonize you, we can put a couple of electrodes down in
> your cortical centers and then by applying a tiny little amperage
> you'll be in serious pain thanks to stimulating your pain centers.

Does this involve leather at any point?

> Then there are other kinds of fun tortures that put you in no physical
> contact with the torment at all, like throwing you out of your house,
> onto the street with the dogs and destroying all that you held to have
> emotional value.

Well that won't take long.

> Even if you /do/ know the entirety of existance is
> virtual, you're now dirty, grungy, and living on the street, homeless.

But if I do know that existance is virtual, and the way out is death, then
I'd kill myself, and start the game again, knowing that the best way to
survive is to be utterly ruthless.

> If we /really/ have time and want you to suffer, we kidnap you and
> addict you to some drug in the process, something that doesn't harm
> your body just causes massive withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms can kill. If it is severe enough, heart attacks follow,
the body dies....

> There are many ways of causing pain to a person. In the end, virtual
> or not, their existance won't be a bright and cheery one.

You know an awful lot about this, Alex Williams ... or should I call you ...
Adolf Von Villiams ;)

Seriously, though, I take your point, and adjust /my/ point of view to
compensate. I think, though, that many people wouldn't.

> So, not only can you not act as if existance were virtual /now/, you
> can't /even if/ you were jacked out, shown around the `virtual games
> center' and plugged back in. Since, thus, there is no way to prove
> the point it must be moot. :)

Unless you can bring the whole games computer to a crashing halt, and
drop everyone back into reality.

> > There would also be a group of people who would be thinking "Hmmm, OK, we're
> > inside this virtual world, generated by a computer. Can we do any of the
> > following:
> >
> > 1) Escape into the 'real' world?
> > 2) Move into other virtual worlds if they exist?
> > 3) Change the programme for our own world?
> > 4) Create our own 'perfect' world to live in?"
> >
> > Those are the people who would be most memetically affected by such a situation.
> How do these people differ from the religious fanatics of today?
> 1) Know the mind of God.
> 2) Go to Heaven.
> 3) Have God grant their prayers.
> 4) Enjoin the Apocalypse and bring about Heaven-on-Earth.

Frightening likeness, I must admit. And havn't religios fanatics had deep
effects on the memespheres of large numbers of people, either negatively or

Richard Jones "We are the New Breed We are the Future."