Re: Meme: A call for help

Keith Henson (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 11:12:22 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 19 Jan 1997, Dan Fabulich wrote:


> The Extropy Institute has a philosophy which strives towards spontaneous
> order through decentralized systems. It denies dogma in favor of
> healthy criticism. It's a far more open system than any religion or
> fundamentalist philosophy. I like that. However, it's been painfully
> obvious to me, throughout my life, how far people can get when they're
> dogmatically committed towards a particular idea. Ideas like bigotry,
> fascism and censorship are incredibly rampant because they develop a
> devoted and unquestioning following. The masses flock to their
> shepherd. They're insanely bad memes, but problematically trong:
> if people are more powerful when they are fundamentally committed
> and when surrounded by people who agree with them, then they'll adapt
> as is most advantageous to them: conform, centralize, dogmatize.

> I don't like any of this. But this has been a problem that I've been
> fighting with for most of my life. I'm not here to argue that religion
> is better than healthy criticism and spontaneous order. I don't think
> that. But in the face of what's out there, how can I, and others like
> me, fight a meme of centralization which may be fundamentally more
> powerful than the one I'm trying to spread, simply by virtue of the fact
> that the meme I'm spreading can never be a dogma? Can this meme ever
> surpass authoritarianism?


"The times, they are a' changing" I suggest you drop in on on the news
group alt.religion.scientology or the IRC chat #scientology. The internet
may well be the end of this particular nasty parasitic meme. And if there
*ever* has been an example of spontaneous order, you will find it in the
net. Keith Henson

PS, if you want to join the frey, there is plenty of glory to be had. I
found this battle to be more interesting than playing Doom.