virus: Coy? Coy?!

Reed Konsler (
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 12:46:07 -0500

>Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 22:36:44 -0700
>From: "David McFadzean" <>
>Subject: Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #46
>- -----Original Message-----
>From: Reed Konsler <>
>Date: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 12:36 PM
>>>Seriously, I think there are merits to Richard's idea about
>>>being cognizant of your belief system(s). I just don't understand
>>>why he advocates adopting whatever meme set leads to your
>>>treasure unless it happens to be the rational worldview.
>>That's a strawman. Richard is a great supporter and evangelist
>>for rationality. But each audience needs a different message.
>Interesting. I guess up until now I had expected a level 3
>practitioner to adopt the worldview of his or her intended
>audience in order to better relate to them. Maybe you can help
>me understand how being coy and evasive is a good strategy
>for sending a message to a skeptical audience.

I'm not a level 3 "practicioner". I understand what level 3 means. Outside discussion on this list, I almost never think about "level 3". If you're interested, the way I think about memes and people is in terms of Don Beck and Chris Cowan's _Spiral Dynamics_ which Don was kind enough to send me for hooking him up with a copy of Manuel DeLanda's _Thousand Years of Non-Linear History_. I find the _Sprial Dynamics_ system to be more useful, but it is quite a bit more complicated. I have respect for Richard's "level system" becuase it is in perfect keeping with his intent in _Virus of the Mind_ to communicate the essential elements of his thinking in the simplest and most accessible possible language. It is an elegant tool for an elegant purpose.

David, I think you're playing Devil's advocate with me. I don't understand how you can describe Richard recent posts, or mine, as "coy and evasisve". We have both been direct, conscientious, and clear. I can only assume that you are still a slave to <reason> and thus any statement against <reason>, no matter how clear, direct, succinct, or forceful would be *by definition* "coy and evasive". But that's good NLP technique! You're a natural.

>>People should value reason, but they shouln't be ruled by it.
>>People shouldn't be ruled by do so abandons our
>>precious will.
>I have no argument with that position, though I think we might still
>differ on the scope of applicability of reason (I'd argue that it is
>useful in more situations than some imply). To see what I mean,
>try substituting "morality" for "reason" in your statement above.

Let's do a thought experiment instead of telling each other where we are in the abstract. If an aquantiance of yours was a devout Catholic, into the ritual, and seemed otherwise happy and effective in their lives would you feel and imperative to disabuse them of their delusions? Can you imagine a congregation of believers which you could share a ritual with, contacting them at a human level, without needing to believe as they do or to convert them to your way of thinking? Could you sit through a sermon and feel refreshed in the meaning you were able to take away from it without concerning yourself about what everyone else in the room *really* thought was *true*.

If you could do these things, then we are in the same place. But many of the people here cannot do these things. <Reason> will not let them share themeselves with anyone.

But, maybe I've misinterpreted you all? Will all the rabid athiests please raise their hand?


  Reed Konsler