Re: virus: Replication of Memes

David McFadzean (
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 18:12:30 -0600

At 10:23 AM 14/08/96 -0700, Ken Pantheists wrote:

>And X is true until something better comes along.
>Sounds fickle? Sure, but we have our last fifty years of culture
>recorded and filmed and video taped-- it's not going away-- it's not
>fading from memory or being mythified. It *is* making all of us very
>sarcastic and very fluent in the fine art of irony.

This is encouraging. Are we making progress toward a concensus
on the nature of truth? (For awhile there I thought the Church
was about to experience its first schism.)

>> >Many signals have an unconscious source. I don't think a drill bit at
>> >the bottom of the ocean thinks ...
>I am very confused about this. How does a drill bit think? This is not a
>meme or even information, it's a drill bit. Why are you treating it

Nobody is claiming a drill bit thinks. I think KMO was saying that
the drill bit has some instruments on board that send information
to the surface about what lies below the bottom of ocean.

>> Granted. So Dtretske's theory doesn't differentiate between passive
>> phenomena and purposeful communications? I guess that makes sense,
>> both are signals from the environment and the fact that the latter
>> may be more complex doesn't seem to make a difference.
>Of course it does.

Both kinds of signals carry information and have meaning. Consider
that a great deal can be (and has been) learned by pointing
telescopes at the sky, though we have seen no sign of intelligent
life out there.

>I don't get this....(?) How can a meme have a life cycle?
>It isn't a meme *unless* it is transmitted.

Wouldn't you say that you have genes even though (to my knowledge)
none have been transmitted? I think the potential for transmission
is more important when speaking of genes and memes.

>The meme has developed and evolved to a point where we accept it without
>question. We are totally prepared for the "evil twin" scenario.

That's fascinating. When I posted the example I didn't take it that
far but it makes a lot of sense.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Ideosphere Inc.