Re: virus: Blackmore's book

David McFadzean (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 08:53:45 -0600

At 10:48 PM 6/16/99 -0400, Eric Boyd wrote:

>Just a quick note to let you know (again) that Susan Blackmore's new
>book _The Meme Machine_ utterly blows my mind! Her "imitation"
>approach to memetics solves many of the problems we have identified --
>and she has some *very* clear cut predictions that memetics makes
>which are immediatly testable (and not intuitivily obvious, to boot).

I just finished the book and would like to add my recommendation to Eric's. This one is a must-read, especially because the conclusions at the end are .... disconcerting, to say the least. I can also see why the recommendations from other authors have been cautious, Blackmore disagrees with everyone on at least one major point.

>It is unfortunatly complicated by a line break and a #meme reference,
>but I still think Virus could benefit by making the back-link to
>more visible, not to mention fixing the (broken) link to KMO's page.

Done. I also added "UTism" and "memeplex" to the list and fixed the link in the footnote.

>It might also be fun to insert the definition of Virus into the text
>of the page, with a link. We might as well capitalize on the fact

Suggestions for a (short) definition?

How about something along the lines of

VIRUS: 1) Something that replicates by infecting a host. 2) (capitalized) The Church of Virus, a memetically engineered religion founded on the web in 1994.

>that Dawkins makes a reference to the church (which I thought was
>great), and then sends his readers to a page *we control*. Let's get
>our meme engineering skills fired up and make sure than anyone
>visiting that page also continues on to read the Virus web page, eh?
>(Virus has been *designed* to infect you...)

Speaking of design, what do you think of Blackmore's contention that humans have no creative agency other than the fact that they host an evolutionary process? I think I agree, which is why I have never claimed to be the designer of Virus. Instead I have called myself the First Host.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus