Re: virus: Kow?

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 28 May 1999 16:05:15 -0700

Richard wrote:

>I'm just not getting it. What ideas are you talking about? [snip]
>I have a very different perception of the demographics of Belltown, but >that's beside the point. actually, that kind of is the point. Your perceptions are framed by
were you go and who you see. Your focus is also a blinder for you. The world you think exists around you--even in your own neighborhood--is limited by your selection criteria.

>All true. But there's no shortage of memes.

...really? That is interesting. Do you think every social group has access
to the same pool of memes to draw from? You're aware of the differential development of memes in one localized environment as compared to another, correct? And with the specialization that happens in small groups? Would a dip into every meme pool bring forth the same ideas?

...have you ever wonder why you've never read anything from the great
investment banker-poets of our time? Or why you seldom get good stock tips from artists?

>The problem is selection. My heuristic for selection is to model people >with lives I like.

...and you'd be the first to admit that this choice of who to model--and
your acts of selection spawned by it--are a limitation for you in some regards. (Or, at least would hope you'd admit that.) I'm sure it's a limitation you've come to willingly accept as the price for surrounding yourself with a certain type of lifestyle memes, but it is a limitation I'm sure you're aware of nevertheless.

...but an important question here is this: Are the memes about how to live
ones life the only ones out there worth selecting for?

...would you only expose yourself to or utilize the memes that come from
individuals whose lives you might model? (This would seem a bit limiting, IMHO.) I'd be like only talking to women you would date--while it may increases your likelihood of finding a mate, but it does so at the expense of a great many wonderful conversations never started. Selection always comes at a price, as you well know.

...Are you aware that there are developments in memetic technology being
created by those who lead the kinds of lives which you might never wish to emulate? Are you missing out some important memetic diversity as a result? More importantly, would you--could you--even know it if you were?

...myself, I've learned quite a lot from the lives and works of achoholics,
drug addicts, suicide victims, criminals, etc. Even obsessive workaholics or Republicans can have something offer if you're willing to listen. :-)

...Do you boldly seek out new memes, from new civilizations, that you might
boldly go where no Brodie has gone before? Would that include the strange little civilizations nested within your own neighborhood? If not... well, why not?

...I don't expect you to even be aware of what you're missing--the example
of your perceptions of Belltown make that point clearly enough. Like they say, you just won't find what you don't expect to see.

...or in other words: Your original comments may have spoken volumes, but I
could have summed up my response in a much tidier package with just: "Hey, old man, that white East-coast upbringing of yours is showing again!"

-Prof. Tim

...and, yes, while it is the responsibility of the speaker tailor his
message to the audience, nevertheless, some of the seeds will always fall on rocky soil.