Re: virus: Memetic evolution

C. David Noziglia (
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 19:17:16 -0800 wrote:

> To rephrase your qualifications for the selection process (tell me if I'm
> wrong in this), it seems to be a matter of focusing on the actual
> revelations of the physical and natural world (DNA, quantum reality, etc)
> versus "bolt from the blue" creative (often theoretical) insights which
> also fuel a deeper comprehension of reality (ala Godel's theorem and
> Einstein's relativity). In terms of the exercise, your impulse would be to
> preserve creative insights as they seem to be less predictably reproducible
> throughout history. A meme like Einstein's relativity is, ideationally
> speaking, more of a "masterpiece" or "rarity" than that of DNA.
> A student summed it up best as he argued with his group: "Look, just
> preserve as much of this paradigm as possible."

Another way of saying it would be that I would consider ideas that changed
our way of thinking to be more important that "mere" descriptions of the
physical world, or facts. Another way of putting it . . .

> On another note, I'm curious as to why you selected Complexity theories for
> inclusion. I think notions of Complexity would "emerge" of their own
> volition when science is ready to observe them, don't you think? The
> various intimations of complexity theory that you mentioned seem to bear
> that rationale out. No question, the fields are important and may lead to a
> critical insight, but in this exercise, couldn't they be gambled on as a
> result of sufficient complexity in the nature of modern science itself?
> Hmm.

I included complexity theory for the reason above. It is a change in our way
of thinking. ("paradigm shift" in Kuhn's terminology, I suppose) All the
implications of complexity theory STILL haven't changed many people's way of
thinking, but it does have the potential to do so.

I do in fact tie my list together:

--Godel proves that there are undecidable propositions, i.e. we can't know
everything for sure >>>>>
>>>> quantum theory, with the uncertainty principle, the exclusion principle, and the sum over histories, shows that the world works in ways not entirely
predetermined >>>>>
>>>>> relativitiy shows that there are no priviledged reference points >>>>
>>>>> complexity then shows that indeterminacy is true above the quantum level.

All of which then ties to cultural relativism, and the knowledge that there
are no eternal truths or verities, even in human thought, something lots of
people have trouble accepting. They don't realize that such a "paradigm"
carries plenty of responsiblity right along with the liberation.

. . . . can you see what I'm getting at? It isn't just technology . . .

C. David Noziglia
Wellington, New Zealand

"Blessed are those who have no expectations, for they will never be disappointed." Kautiliya Shakhamuni Sidhartha Gautama Buddha

"Things are the way they are because they got that way."