Re: virus: change in the church

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 11:51:22 -0400


psypher <> writes:
<<, given our principles, how do we convince people to consider them - which is the role of a manifesto.

At this point I'd be happy to even make people *aware* of us and our principles -- even if they think we're crazy!

-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?

Hmmm. As I see it, there are really two questions here:

(1) Why should a virian (a 'true' believer) spread Virus. The answer here is that a conscious approach to life based on memetics and virian principles really lets one live it up -- and we all want that for our friends.

(2) Why should someone who has just read about Virus tell their friends about it? (*this* is the memetic question) The answer then stems from our understanding of memetics -- because somehow the document they just read makes them want to spread it. It pushs buttons, it makes them laugh, it contains ideas they think are useful, it seduces their mind and influences their behaviour... their approach is unconscious, even towards a 'consciousness advocating' document, and we should use/abuse that.

I think we should write the manifesto to cover the second question -- and if it succeeds in getting us some widespread attention, a second document more fully explaining Virus will have large *already interested* audience.

[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]

Eventually, yes. Each of us, I suspect, already does that to a certain extent, although I know that it would help me immensly to have some literature. That can wait -- the first step is to reach the masses, then we can concentrate on extending the benefits to those who show promise or interest. I think we already have enough of a core group to 'change the world'.

<<, 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.

Yes yes. Even more than that -- I think the Virus web page still has the semantic rule "meaning = effect" up -- in which case, meaning is quite literally "made" by action. What's my maxim? "Participation builds Commitment" -- action brings meaning. I'd like to see that maxim in the manifesto -- it's one of those things that sounds so innocuous; but the more you think about, the more right it gets, and the more things it applies to. I now suspect it's hardwired into human biology.