Memetics IS a cult

t (
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 14:28:56 EST

From: <>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 14:28:56 EST
Subject: Memetics IS a cult

In "WWF: Richard v. Aaron" Aaron laments:

>On some level, we have a clash of church versus academy, memetics as cult
>versus memetics as scientific discipline, popular movement with elements of
>elitist appeal versus scholarly movement with elements of popular appeal.
>And there is a theme of the "cyber bad boys" versus the social scientists.

And then says:

>Academics do indeed respond poorly to barnstormers who seem to be
>proffering a replacement to all their hard-done work. Yet outside of
>academia, such an approach might seem tempting. Academics are often held in
>contempt in popular American culture. This includes a stereotype that
>academics have developed bookish intelligence to the exclusion of "street
>smarts." They are also seen as starving for funds and recognition, points
>that might become levers of manipulation. So they might look like sitting
>ducks against methods of seduction, or against intimidation when seduction
>Academics as a whole will also respond poorly to anything that makes
>memetics look like a cult, even if a few academics be seduced into lending
>credibility to cults. Movement in the cultish direction would get
>"memetics" classified alongside "dianetics" in the minds of skeptics. While
>the "dianetic" movement has certainly seduced and/or intimidated famous
>people into giving it credibility, it remains in wide disrepute among
>scientists. yada yada yada

But Aaron, Richard Brodie published his book before you published yours. Is it
not he, then, who is the true founding Father of memetics? Chapter 11 of Virus
of the Mind is all about how to start a cult, and tells us to just do it. On
page 209 it says "Just find some attractive memes to suck people in and
program them to do your bidding, including evanglizing the cult to others."
This Word came first, and Richard showed how to apply it to memetics itself.
Memetics IS a cult. The Church of Virus is its church, Virus of the Mind its
Bible, and Richard Brodie its Prophet!

All you ivory tower types with your journal should get a life.

Paul Blaising

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)