Re: MEMETICS: The Triumph of Reason
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 16:08:14 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-01-20 12:00:33 EST, it is written:

<< >
> While Christianity's main meme of "do unto others as you would have done
> to you" is a very good meme [snip]

<< I was not making reference to the ethical value of the meme, but
rather it's ability to spread. Christianity could state "kill all farm
animals and torture your neighbor continually", and whereas that wouldn't
be "ethically" good, as long as the meme spreads and people follow the
word, it is a "good" meme.
______________________ >>

Good for whom, good for what.. alas, the old ethical problem, not solved by
mathematics or a double blind test (for those of you who always want to go

In that logic, Nazis have a good meme too.... Santeria is a great example of
memes changing faces in order to survive.

Defining good as evolutionarily viable is dangerous IMO. But it is logical to
some extent. For obvious reasons.
However, things that survive best are not inherently "good" for ME, a Shark
is not as "good" to cuddle with as my warm fuzzy puppy, but shark has
survived since prehistoric times, and although puppy is an old breed, he only
goes back to about 500BC.

So be careful - Christianity IMO is BAD, but bad for ME and for Extropy, not
for itself. Since we are on the subject, "memes mutating in order spread" , I
think this is one of the problems I have with trying to "redefine" Extropy.
If we have a specific goal, ( ie: good for who-good for what goal, good for
individual freedom, dynamic optimism, the singularity, technological
developement, etc) we need to keep the definition flexible, but tightly
monitored-allowing people to come to thier own conclusions, their own
actions, yet clear on the definition, making sure it is solidly based on a
positive premise.

If, in order to get media attention, Extropian memes mutate into evil or
deathist patterns, it could kill the movement. One can easily see how
Cyberpunk and Nihilist Extropians would be a very easy thing to sell in the
media. It may help the meme to survive, to subvert or pervert it.
But negativity is entropic, so it may not be "good" in any sense of the
meaning we want.

If you get a famous meme without keeping the principles, IMO, you have lost
the meme.

I think this is very destructive BTW.
One thing I LIKE about Extropy is it's insisting on quality. On standards. On
focus. On positivity.