Re: virus: change in the church

psypher (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 00:20:21 -0400 (EDT)

Eric suggested:

> Cool. I think some of the most important parts of a manifesto
> should relate to the ethics page -- rationality is an obvious one,
> but I think that empathy plays a large role in both memetics and
> level 3. Linking dogmatism in consciousness/phaith/level 3 is easy., given our principles, how do we convince people to consider them - which is the role of a manifesto.

> Regarding 'a program' -- are you thinking like a 'twelve step'
> here's how to get infected kind of thing, or what?

...I was thinking more along the lines of:

-Virus is a system of thought and action spread memetically. Now that you have been exposed to Virus you are a potential vector.

...and then giving reasons to spread the meme. We've got some knowledge about how ideas/memes/virii etc. are spread, and we can develop a method for spreading this one out from here. But WHY should anyone spread out meme once exposed, what reasons can we give a conscious person for distributing Virus?

[note: I'm making the potentially premature supposition that we're interested in propagating Virus through a vector of persons who have arrived at some degree of conscious examination of their purpose - persons who lead an examined life in the Socratic sense - whether or not the form of that examination is memetic or not is irrelevant]

> We're looking for an introduction to Virus, not just memetics -- a
> focus on the religiousness of reason, and on secular phaith and
> consciousness, on how freethinkers find meaning in life, and on why
> memetics itself provides an ideal approach from within science to
> touch on religion, etc. etc., further considerations:

-note: a manifesto is essentially an item of propaganda, it sets forth in certain terms the aims of an organization and compelling reasons for accepting those aims. ie. it provides meaning for action. One of the basic precepts of Virus (as I understand it) is that the nature of meaning is essentially a personal endeavour, no one can GIVE it to you, you have to make it. what we're offering is a tool [a deliberately constructed structure] for arriving at meaning, not meaning itself.

...we can think of the manifesto as a sales tactic, a sales tactic for a tool. Purchase price is attention and thought. We need to know what kinds of materials are most effective with the tool, what sorts of things the tool will allow a person to do that they may have been unable to do before, why they need this tool in the first place.

...just to restate: I'm not stepping forth to decide on the content for this project, that's the prerogative of the group [though I'll probably have some input], I'm offering to handle the conversion from quasi-academic discourse to populist expression of purpose. I'm interested in doing this because I see Virus as an anti-ideology. Ideologues claim to have all the answers, we claim that there are no answers, only provisional hypotheses [some stronger than others]. I like the puzzle of advocating rational doubt as a guideline.

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