The community at the current time is substandard. I have read almost all the emails-posts over the last 2 years and many of the emails-posts before that, in the archives. I have read a couple books as well as some research on the web. I have also included many of my own thoughts. If you would be so kind as to think and reply (in that order please) with your own thoughts with a reasonable amount of content I would appreciate it. Nate
“A Virian is someone who uses rational cognition to recognize, create, host, and propagate successful and beneficial memes.” Based on discussions and ideas by Kharin, Kalkor, and Hermit. IRC 2002 – 03 - 27
The CoV is anti-dogmatic. The site screams “we will not put up with religion”. Our memeplex, THE CHURCH OF VIRUS MEMEPLEX, is dominant and superior to these other churches-religions. The CoV is superior because is takes a step up to the meta-level which includes discussion of memetics. This higher level gives us an advantage in the BATTLE between our memes and the enemy memes. In this battle we MUST be evangelistic. We MUST be actively disposing of our enemies. For centuries the incorporation of evangelism makes our enemies replicate faster. WE can't be passive. We must match and exceed the replication of our enemies.
1. We must recruit new members 2. We must encourage those members to recruit new members
Furthermore, any future community must keep in place the intellectual nature that the CoV has been known for. It must also encourage the development of new members and still challenge old members. The CoV memeplex must keep a high fidelity under the rapid replication I think it is capable of.
3.We must maintain our current doctrine 4.We must make progress in the development of all it's members.
“Involvement in community today takes a conscious commitment to a group. Shaffer and Anundsen refer to this as conscious community – meaning community that emphasizes the members' need for personal growth and transformation, as well as for social and survival aspects of community (pg 26 Palloff & Pratt).”
This is quite elementary and covers all the basics to the CoV's success. Other's might want the CoV to be something besides what it should be. Personal reasons are clouding the future of the CoV.
“Within the social framework defined by the communities purpose and policies, people strive to satisfy their own needs. Whether they contribute to the good of the community or are just there to indulge themselves depends on the communities policies and individual personalities (pg 7 Preece).”
I looked through the progression and at times it has grown both in members and development. However, it has not gained the way it should have the last few years.
I think one of the main reason for this is the lack of boundaries between the scientific and the social. I am glad to see the new section on the BBS. It is crucial to have a “distinct division” between academic posts-emails and normal posts-emails.
“I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is no an inconsiderable one, of being true.” Carl Sagan
Some Suggestions (feel free to comment)
I propose that 4 of the senior members take the heads of the 4 areas of the CoV. Description, titles, perks, whatever can hopefully be decided by the major players.
Encourage individual research. Policy for members to try to research something new once a month. Add in some type of extra bonus for doing work. Maybe special status to these type of posts. Something like best of virus, although I think the best of virus should be the best of the best. Maybe a stat like reputation or equity.
Discourage all quick responses to academic post-emails. Proof must be on both sides of any disagreement. Even if someone agrees they can add in something new with some research.
Organize more events. Try to have annual events same time every year (1st week in June) or posted long enough in advance. Organize regional meetings. Reap the benefits of other communities.
Zloduska mentioned possibly a magazine. Maybe a E-Zine first then real magazine. 1 every quarter then every month and so on till it's real and here.
Always been talk about a book. I think the book would be most effective after the CoV is healthy and all readers will participate and get other readers of the book.
Also I think we need an introduction place. Zloduska reminded me. Imminst has one and it makes you want to get involved as soon as you post and everyone welcomes you.
Find lurkers get them involved. Encourage them to become active.
Chat has almost unlimited potential, very little of that is used. Good recruitment area if we get would-be new members to enter. Possibly add a sound option to chat. Maybe get organized and move to philosophy and religion discussions webwide.
Get more Speakers. More members, more connections, more speakers.
Paloff, R. and Pratt, K. Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace. San Francisco, US: Josey-Bass, 1999.
Preece, Jenny. Online Communities. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2000.
« Reply #1 on: 2004-06-11 12:08:48 »
I literally stumbled upon this site last week.
I am using an add on for IE called "Stumble Upon". It's a peer rating structure for web content. Someone here is probably a member of Stumble and that's how I found this site.
You enter you interests and based on the ratings, interesting sites will appear when I hit the Stumble button.
I would suggest that as a method of attracting like minded members that CoV members try this add on and link to this site.
It won't attract those who have entered "Monster Trucks and/or "Dinosaurs" as areas of interest (although it might make take the BBS in a whole new direction ) but it will end up on the desktop of the like minded.
« Reply #2 on: 2004-06-16 16:20:15 »
I agree with everything to OP said, because I feel that this community could be really great if the message board was more active, and the chats were more blatantly advertised. Also, I figured that maybe someone reading this could give me some advise: How do you break the news to Christians that their beliefs are wrong? I have about 20-30 people that I've gathered at my school who, if I could just show them why their religions are wrong, I'm sure would join this community. They think almost exactly like us in every way possible.
« Reply #3 on: 2004-06-17 05:45:32 »
Aethiest Crusader, check the BBS and email list archives. There is plenty of good info and links. Many would join if this place was actually a church of virus. Unfortunately I find that a new name fits it better, church of rarely infected random delayed inoculation of itself, virus. Another strange side effect is the fidelity range can be anywhere from 1 minute to 3 years. Almost suicidal if you think about it. If the CoRIRDIIV doesn't mutate it will be out replicated by it's competiton. Maybe this will be a real CoV but i doubt it.
(don't be discouraged keep participateing, just trying to provoke a real discussion about growth)
« Reply #4 on: 2004-06-17 13:38:59 »
I will look at the email list archives, which I haven't done previously (mostly because people complain about how clogged it gets with crap). I also have been going to www.infidels.org, as it is much larger than this community, and deals with many of the same topics (without going into memetics too much). I will not give up, of course, and appreciate your attempt to start actual discussion about growth.
On that topic (growth), I would just like to say that it would be a shame to abandon such a well designed website with fairly good feedback mechanisms simply because of a lack of participation in one small part of the website. I think we do need outreach of some sort, however, because we are not nearly as big as I know we could be if we tried just a bit harder. Many of us perhaps have friends who would join if we could get them to see the benefits of joining such a group. While some of this is explained on the main website, other benefits that are not so obvious about joining the CoV should perhaps be made manifest as well. Also, someone with wiki powers really needs to clean it up. It is quite the mess as it stands now. I have time but no access, and I'm sure that many people who have access have no time. Perhaps there is someone with both.
Anyway, I'm off to go make music now, and will return to perhaps add more to the discussion. Maybe we'll discuss this at the weekly chat tonight.
Perhaps I believe the hardest part is simply keeping enough momentum through all my work and lifestyle to remember following a lot of the precepts here, an actively employing of the ideas when i best should. I'm a natural, or here I think so, because I'm not religious, group oriented either, or even repetitive in my habits and actions - though i know where it is where a lot of the arguments fall into place. The last thing i studied was about politics and postmoderninsm, where there was a line stressing that postmodernism is irrelevant in a day and age where the whole experience of seeing modernism conquered by understanding those factors of modernism and then having it ridiculed.
Sure, someone out there is going, 'Huh, whats this got to do with the topic'- and thats fine because that's what'd be easy for me to believe (continue) what i think it is - the ultimate advertisement is just 'being'! Here, in this forum, and in my visualisations- i agree with the themes, topics and follow the words in understanding whatever meaning is expressed. If i'm 'being' 'virian' then my fans (!) are simply going to follow this, but in their own way anyway. It is a phenomena in any ones tongue: popular genre / fashion / phase or stage of life - whatever the label. An old saying goes that "all roads lead to Rome", i hope that this is one of the rivers many people get to cross in their travels.
Or is it this that will give me that key for interpreting all, and gracefully understanding all -for the responsive ability to roar forth a truth of ultimate clarity to all. I'm working on the clarity bit, and it comes with growth - it takes form / definition.
Or do i just be?
The best chance we have in growing may be in finding ways to help retain the balance with (A) helping the affected working out their conceptual difficulty, or even their embarassment in the situation, or (B) helping to keep virian analogy in the forefront of thought. This could be perfomed by such virians in both the opinionative in groups or as individual selves- fragile egos are a lifetime of work! Humans and theories : then what are we left over with