Re: virus: A parable

Mon, 07 Jun 1999 09:43:47 -0700

The parable is to be found at:

Eric Boyd wrote:

> KMO <> writes:
> <<
> Interesting site. As for the lesson of the parable, I'd say it's, "be
> careful that you don't bend your worldview around a cherished fantasy
> to the point where you see those people who are trying to alert you to
> the dangers of your fantasy as enemies and the people who propagate it
> for their own gain and to your detriment as your trusted allies."
> Yeah, that could be a bit more concise.
> >>
> I think it's lesson is most conscisly expressed as "dogmatic faith is
> foolishness".

That is more concise, but I think it looses some of the specificity of the parable's message.

> The more I think about it, the more I like the story --
> and the more I think that the CoV should create something similar,
> although shorter.

I had a friend of mine sit down at my computer and read the parable. He did not know the theme of the site on which it occurs, and he had a very negative reaction to that parable from almost the very outset. It was identical in tone and structure to the parables that religious evangelicals had used on him in conversion attempts so many times in the past that it instantly raised his resistance to full strength. He was particularly offended by the one-dimensional obtuseness of the man who bought the house. He read it such that the visiting brother was the Christian trying to open his brother's eyes to the futility of defining his self-image and staking his happiness on earthly things such as houses and willfully closing his eyes to the possibility of eternal bliss and salvation through Christ. Even after he finished reading the parable and I explained its intent, he was hostile towards it.

> Dylan Durst <> writes:
> <<
> If we were to create a meme as a group, it seems like we would learn
> alot. While I'm sure we have all personaly concocted something at
> sometime, there is alot to be said for actually applying our knowledge
> base as a group. We may be able to discover some interesting things
> along the way. Is anyone else interested in creating something small,
> so we can work our way up to a religion?
> >>
> Here's our chance, Dylan! (although we've had lots of chances, even
> attempts, in the past as well) What I'm thinking of is a parable with
> the same kind of lesson, only one which is short enough and
> entertaining enough to be sent over email as a "forward" virus. The
> problem with all such creative attempts in the past is that everybody
> says -- yea, lets do it! -- but nobody does anything.

Yes. This group doesn't seem to particularly suited to creative work. As individuals we are extraordinarily creative. We write books, cut CDs, draw comics, and create websites, but as a group, we tend to fall into loops of endless analysis and criticism. Better that you, Dylan or Eric, craft your own parable-virus, propagate it, and then, AFTER it's out in the world doing its thing, present your project to the Virus list for feedback. Some of the feedback may be of use to you in crafting parable-virus 2.0.

As Richard's brother, Mike, is fond of saying, "Ready, Fire, Aim!"