Re: virus: Virian council and process

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 17:25:04 -0400


Sodom: thanks for starting the thread... I was just about to do it myself.

Tim Rhodes <> writes: <<
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?

That would be cool alright -- especially the velvet seats! I was thinking a "round table" type of thing might be good -- especially one with no fixed size, so that whenever another becomes worthy (and how do we judge that? and who is we?) the table expands and we create another chair.

The only real question is whether such "status" carries any power, in terms of how the church is run and how it evolves. Wade says "Such a non-egalitarian heirarchy will cause me to flee." But I suspect that if it's only the *illusion* of non-egalitarian-ness, he wouldn't object. We can probably get all of the memetic benefits without actually giving the inner circle any real power. If we can appeal to humankind's need for heirarchy without actually having one... that is the best of both worlds.

Sodom <> writes:
I think the idea of a Virian council should be seriously thought out for many reasons.

1> Hierarchical structure will help accomplish some of the tasks that, with organization and specific responsibility, the CoV could accomplish

Yes -- we need this.

3> This group can help to eliminate problem makers

Yikes! Better start running now Wade...

Do you seriously think we need to do this?


5> Vote on Saints and other issues

Do you think it's wise to restrict voting to an 'inner circle'?

6> Provide a "role model" position for newness, or those that are slow to grasp some of the basic issues

We already do this (I hope).

So then, we need to decide on the amount of people, how they are elected, term length, etc...

Even worse than that is deciding who gets to be in the inner circle... I have my own opinions, of course, but they aren't likely to be the same as other's opinions, and I certainly don't want to exclude potentially valuable people because of some simple minded rule like "must have spent min. one year on the list" or "must be liked by majority of council members" or whatever 'process' we come up with.

In short, we need a dynamic system... something that can evolve with us, and the church. But how does one create such a system?

I was thinking that perhaps the best rule for who is in the inner circle is "only those who feel they belong there". Are you worthy? Am I?

And a meta-question related to that -- since such subjective feelings are probably based deeply in human nature (and our hierarchical tendencies... which we inhereted from the apes), there is probably a limit on the number of people who would 'feel worthy' at any time, i.e. once five or ten or however many people the psychological limit is was reached, no further chairs would be created -- instead people would enter into a pecking-order for the chairs already present.

We don't want that... but how do you avoid it?

(here I'm thinking specifically of those conferences where born leaders all get together... and rather than the chaos one would expect, 90% of them lose their dominance and submit to the new pecking order... a new heirarchy is formed. If I'm right about Virus and it's individual advancement goals, we will face the same type of thing eventually... which is lousy for those individuals who are otherwise on the top but have to take low positions in Virus because of the presence of so many others... how does one create a truly egalitarian organization?)