Re: virus: maxims and ground rules

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 10 May 1999 18:00:19 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 10 May 1999, KMO wrote:

> In THIS group valuing consciousness is ubiquitous and obvious to the point
> that actually codifying and enshrining the principle seems to be a vacuous
> exercise in affirming that which is readily apparent,

Well, that's because THIS group is so much more enlightened than THEY are, aren't we now? I mean, They really can't hold a candle to Us can they?

> but go down to Westlake mall (an upscal shopping area in downtown Seattle)
> and ask 100 shoppers what is important in life and see how many of them say
> "consciousness."

About the same number that say "breathing" I suspect. (But I doubt you'll find any of them not doing it as they talk to you.)

Actually, this could be a good experiment! I have a couple clipboards around somewhere, what are you doing Thursday afternoon?

> I'm not sure I understand your concern here, Tim. I don't see any point in
> making the ground rules intentionally unattractive to the perspective
> participant, and the fact that few people would be put off by the first maxim
> on the list doesn't seem to constitute a deficiency in that maxim (postulate,
> axiom, talking point, or whatever we decide to call them).

What about the fact that it's a feel-good platitude that doesn't really mean anything? Is that a viable criteria for evaluation here, Kevin?

Personally, I see "living consciously" quickly becoming as trite and tired a phrase in our society as "peace, love and happiness" has become--largely because of its overuse and abuse. It's a hell of a lot easier to say, "consciousness is the most important thing" than to demonstrate what that actually _means_ or why. I'd prefer to see more of an emphasis placed on the later and could live a long time without seeing too much more of the former. (Besides, it's a meme already co-opted by the spectacle marketers and needs little help from us in its propigation at this point.)

Now me, I'm going go have a 7-Up -- because unlike Them, I can think for myself!

-Prof. Tim