Re: Machiavellian Memes

Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 13 May 1998 19:59:12 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 19:59:12 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: Machiavellian Memes
In-Reply-To: <003501bd7ebf$522ee420$0d70cacc@lil--elvis>

At 03:34 PM 5/13/98 -0700, Tim Rhodes wrote:
>Aaron Lynch wrote:
> >>But in fairness to atheists, I should mention that you haven't exactly
>>>trying to avoid them. Several people told me to look at the discussions of
>>>a "Church of Virus," which espouses an "atheistic religion." Inspecting
>>>list, I found a post from you in which you offered a "memetic revelation"
>>>of the existence of "God" and "the Spirit."
>>It is possible that my last sentence above could be taken as containing
>>out-of-context quotes. The full quote, which was removed from the
>>"" web site after our earlier discussion is:
>As a frequent participant in discussions at Church of Virus I think in only
>fair to note that the message you site came after a noticable "dry spell"
>during which time the list had fallen strangle silent. Richard's post got
>people talking again, which was its intent. And as that list is not
>associated with a scholarly journal as this one is, irony and humor are not
>only allowed, but encouraged.
>After all, the first sentence is, "As they say in The Forum...", Aaron! Did
>you really think what followed was meant as anything other than a joke?!?

Viewing the thread (by web) after it had pretty much died down, I got the
impression that it was not meant as a joke. After David McFadzean took it
quite seriously, there was no reply from Richard to say that "hey, it was a
joke!" Neither after someone else came forward to state her own belief in
God. I didn't even see you saying "surely you're joking, Richard."

rather, the idea of doing memetics (or any science) by "revelation." In a
world where all too many people regard memetics as "light-weight" at best
and pseudoscience at worst, it is a suggestion not even to make in jest.

--Aaron Lynch

How Belief Spreads Through Society--The New Science of Memes
Basic Books. Online Brochure:
Most recent paper: Units, Events, and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution.

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