Re: virus: Virus Lexicon, etc

Duane Daniel Hewitt (
Thu, 6 Apr 1995 13:57:40 -0600 (MDT)

On Wed, 5 Apr 1995, David McFadzean wrote:

> My own definition would be something like "a region in the spectrum of
> complexity"
> less complex more complex
> <---------------------------------------------------------------->
> ?<--life------------------------------------------>
> ?<--intelligence----->
> inert matter
> gases
> synthetic control systems (e.g. thermostats, computer, robot)
> viruses
> prokaryotes
> eukaryotes
> plants
> animals
> humans
> The lower bound of the life region is fuzzy, and I don't think there
> is an upper bound.

I think that generally the lower band is drawn at viruses. They are not
considered living in themselves because they need another organism in
order to replicate (like memes). Speaking of memes, a meme may act like a
virus in that it may lie outside its host for a long period and then
reinfect. Viruses do undergo selection pressures and do replicate and
therefore you are correct in that there is no hard and fast barrier. What
is the relationship between complexity and adaptability?

As you may be able to tell I am in a manic phase right now with a burning
need to do things (maybe it is the impending birthday :-)) So if you have
anything that needs to be done and is interesting run it by me.

> I'm not aware of any memetic engineering textbooks per se, though I
> have seen a textbook on cultural evolution. I will try to dig up the
> reference. Advertising is most definitely memetic engineering. There is
> an excellent article in the current issue of Adbusters called Meme Warfare.
> (will post ref for this too).

> >What will be the Stance of Virus on Good and Evil? (Easy question ;-))
> I think we should take a Relativist stance. Good and Evil are in the eyes
> of the beholder: good is whatever is aligned with some set of reference
> values, evil is whatever is in opposition of the same set. Interesting
> question: can values be rationally determined or are they necessarily
> outside of logic?

If we place a value upon increasing complexity then I think we can derive
a lot from this. However, justifying this initial leap is where we will
have to put a lot of effort.

> >What is the purpose of Virus stated explicitly?
> Virus was created to compete with the traditional (irrational) religions
> in the human ideosphere with the idea that it would introduce memes which
> would ensure the survival and evolution of our species. (How's that? I just
> made it up :-) I just realized that Virus is a machine by my definition.
> --

Sounds good. I think you should add it to the Web page.

Duane Hewitt