Re: virus: Virian Sainthood

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 12:49:25 -0700

Eric wrote:

>Tim Rhodes <> writes:
>I think how we elect our saints is perhaps more important -- from a
>memetic perspective -- than who we elect. The process of nomination,
>debate, election and cannonization will be central to the continued
>life of the memeplex (Brodie's use). Who we elect might _seem like_
>the important question, but in all reality, establishing a method of
>creating saints is the really important part of the equation, and the
>aspect that can enable the well established process to outlive any one
>of us.
>You're probably right, Tim. I've got some ideas --
>(1) Necessary conditions for nomination
> (a) had novel ideas (hopefullly related to Virus)
> (b) ??? others?
>(2) Sufficient conditions for sainthood?
> (a) creation of ideas Virus is based on? (e.g. Darwin had
> sufficient conditions to become a saint)
> --> if we can prove sufficient conditions, then we can skip the
>voting process

NO! Never! I think you're missing part of the point. The process itself needs to involve people in the inner workings of the church. Remember, these are OUR saints, WE chose them to represent US and what WE think is noble, good, true, etc. They don't get to be saints on their own merit alone. Someone needs to advocate for them; offer them up for nomination and present their arguments to the Council (or whatever).

I think you might be looking at it with too much of a scientific eye. These are Saints we're talking here! This is the religious component to the memeplex. Having a patron and bringing him or her to sainthood in the church should be a bit of trial. What motivates a person to tangle themselves up in the politics of the church that deeply? (And that's really what sainthood is all about when you get down to it -- politics.) By the time the Inner Council has chosen to admit a new saint into the cannon people should really begin to feel that this person IS an actual Saint. (Notice I said "feel" and not "think" here -- very important.)

We should be asking ourselves, "Does this process produce that kind of feeling and commitment within the novice/advocate?"

>(3) After nomination, we should have a discussion about why they
>should be saints -- about the ideas the had, the life they lived, etc.
>Perhaps we should pick favorite quotes and find a good picture of
>them, so that if we do make them a saint, we'll have some immediate
>content to put on the page dedicated to them.
>(3) After that, we need some kind of 'voting' process.
> --> should we all get a vote?
> --> should we elect a 'virian council' of 12 (or whatever)
> people and then require a majority or 2/3rds vote?
>(I'm thinking that council might be useful for lots of other things

As do I . As self-replicating structures go, a form of distinct hierarchy is an absolute must. What else does the lowly initiate have to strive for, if not a velvet seat within the majestic Inner Circle?

-Prof. Tim