Re: virus: The Battle of/for Ideas

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 13 May 1999 13:00:49 -0400


Tim Rhodes <> writes: << (snip my story)
I remember the references you made to this at the time (or soon after). The story really has the making of a Viral tragedy for the age (if you're distanced enough yet to see it as that, I guess); bittersweet and painful, yet honest and instructive, with no easy answers.

A good idea. I'll put it on my (long) list of things to do.

>Finally -- "How people "should" feel is often a long way from
>how they "do"." Agreed. My theory is that this strange situation
>(which needs explanation) is caused by coercion damage -- and
>possibly memetic survival strategies as well. What's your theory?

That your (and my) preconceptions of how things "should" be are in error in most of these cases and that we have failed to understand the nature of the situation and/or the nature of the individuals at hand.

Maybe that's so. I see no good reason to accept that people *should* be irrational and self-damaging. In more thinking, however, I've realized that perhaps we have a genetic tendency to these effects as well -- which just makes the should more difficult.

If you ran a series of experiments and the data didn't come back like you predicted, would do you create a new theory to try to justify how your predictions were right despite the fact that they don't match the data? Or would consider your original hypothesis suspect and look for a new one?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what people "should" feel is not something that could ever be determined by experiment -- becuase one cannot move from the "is" of existence to the "should" of goal. Your argument here is thus complete bullshit.

And if the self is a symbiotic construct of our consciousness and our memes? What then is the result?

Interesting. I think you've missed the self here, however. The self -- which I split into four parts: body/heart/mind/soul[1] -- is much more than just consciousness and memes -- indeed, both of those fit into one category, mind(or possibly two, depending on how one defines "soul"). I think of pain as only relating to body/heart -- but recgonize that many extend it into mind and soul as well.

If one does extend pain into mind/soul, the product is irrational hurt and entrentched theories. Are there any positive effects I'm missing (and here I'm thinking of phaith -- does it relate?)

The former is a better working perspective for one to hold about oneself and ones relationship to their own ideas. But the latter is a better working perspective to hold about others and how they may relate to the ideas that they hold.

Sure, that makes a lot of sense. Could we make it a virian project to convert people of the latter type into people of the former type?


[1] Which I understand as matter/emotion/thinking/synergy.