MEMETICS: The Triumph of Reason

David Musick (
Mon, 20 Jan 97 08:29:18 UT

To counter my claim that rationality will ultimately triumph, Damien R.
Sullivan hypothesized that a leader could be rational but have followers who
dogmatically follow her. Thus, they would be following rational orders that
will work while not having good rational skills themsleves, in fact, the
leader would work to prevent them from developing those skills. And, they're
stamping out rationality everywhere in the world, preventing people, such as
myself from spreading it.

My first thought is, how does the proposed leader keep all contrary memes from
infiltrating her masses? I know, I know, they're all dogmatic, so their minds
are closed to outside ideas. Pure fantasy! Dogmatism may be tight, but it's
not that tight. There's always lots of leaks in it. Especially if the masses
grow up in the modern world, interacting with people of all different
backgrounds and ideologies, watching television and movies, reading magazines
and newspapers, surfing the Net. Dogmatism is extremely difficult to maintain
in this type of high-intensity media environment.

This type of high-intensity media environment is a fairly recent development
among humans; it hasn't really kicked in until within the past thirty years or
so, when people started growing up watching TV and seeing movies. There's
just too many ideas floating around everywhere; how's a leader supposed to
keep everyone in line? And as the Internet becomes more pervasive and
bandwidth increases, the meme exchange will be higher than it's ever been
before. People will be surrounded with ideas contrary to their own. This
will make creating a powerfully dogmatic belief system extremely difficult.
The competition for minds and allegience will be fierce.

The war of ideas will continue, but faster and more intensely now. The belief
systems that emerge will be increasingly powerful and addictive, constantly
mutating and becoming even more robust. I can imagine people from various
belief systems infiltrating other ones and finding ways to subvert them;
gaining an understanding of the psychologies of the adherents and developing
ways to slowly attract them to different ideas, developing products and
presentations that would appeal to them but have subtly subversive messages
woven in seamlessly.

This all should be quite exciting and iteresting to watch and to participate
in. I'm already developing some of the belief systems I'm wanting to spread.
A lot of what I'm doing is studying very powerful belief systems, finding
lots of common elements and working on building bridges between belief
systems. I'm trying to develop smooth paths between various belief systems,
so people's minds can move more easily between them. My intent is to keep
belief systems from becoming too dissociated from each other. A world at war
is dangerous for all in it, including myself. I intend to be a peacemaker, a
sort of psychological diplomat, showing people that they are not as opposed as
they think they are. But I'll discuss *that* in another post...

So, will Reason triumph in this intense exchange of ideas? My gut feeling is
that it will because it is ultimately superior. But then, what the hell do I
know? We'll just have to let it play out and see. I'll do my best to promote
rationality and intelligent behavior and encourage as many others as I can to
do similarly. In any case, there's a lot of work to do.

- David Musick

-- Be rational; it just makes sense. --