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Meme Update #4

In this issue: 
Levels of Consciousness


There has been a lot of discussion going on over in the "Church of Virus"
mailing list about the "Level 2" and "Level 3" of consciousness that I
describe in Virus of the Mind. The discussion has taken on a comedy-drama
of its own, with various participants claiming they are not, in fact, real
people, but rather characters being played by each other. But questions
keep coming up about what is meant by Level 3.

To backpedal a bit, Level 1 of consciousness is instinctual and
animalistic. Level-1 operators do not live by conscious philosophy.
Abstractions such as economics and physics are foreign to them. They live
with the hand they were dealt, not making much use of learned philosophy.

Level 2, where most educated people operate, makes use of conceptual tools
to map out life and plan results for the future. Religions, the scientific
method, and all academic learning are examples of Level-2 structures. In
Level 2, one's picture of the world gets clearer and clearer. Often people
will not break through to Level 3 unless and until they have a life
experience that invalidates and shatters their world view.

Level 3 is characterized by the ability to flex your meme-space on the fly;
to use multiple models depending upon your purpose and priorities. It's
possible to gain an intellectual understanding of what this means from
Level 2, but probably not possible to really feel the impact of the
difference in life experience. The Level-3 mind has a great capacity to
hold dissonant, contradictory beliefs. (Einstein was said to have this

Those interested in joining in the discussion in the Church of Virus
mailing list can find subscription information at Meme Central. The web
address of Meme Central appears at the top of this newsletter.


Have you heard the new radio spot for "Rejoice" adult incontinence
garments? I heard it yesterday as I was driving up highway 167 in Kent.
Yes, finally there's an adult incontinence undergarment you can ... er ...
DEPEND on? ... er ... ASSURE? ... er ... well, you can REJOICE! Is anyone
else getting annoyed that more and more everyday words are being drafted
into involuntary servitude as labels for old-age-infirmity products?

By the way, their phone number is 1-800-KEEP-DRY. As Dave Barry would say,


Here are the number of hits for various words on the World Wide Web as of
2/10/97, courtesy of Infoseek:

2,436,866 science
1,057,284 music
1,044,023 opportunity
942,469 love
709,810 food
490,656 Microsoft
339,558 sex
180,174 danger
163,450 virus
31,010 Darwin
5,827 Dawkins
5,583 Brodie
1,376 memetics


Good memes to spread, if you ask me.


"I cried because I had no shoes
till I met a man who had a nice pair of shoes
so I beat him up and took them."
Herb Caen 1916-1997