Re: virus: Meta-memes
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 00:09:36 -0500 (CDT)

On Sat, 19 Oct 1996, David Leeper wrote:

> :> I think consciousness requires memes, meta-memes,
> :> and environment (including the body). Without
> :> memes, there'd be no meta-memes. Without meta-memes,
> :> we'd be pulled in this direction, then that
> :> direction by our conflicting memes. Without environment,
> :> neither memes nor meta-memes would receive any real stimulus.
> :
> :Hmm...I'll have to look at this more closely.
> :
> :My point is that consciousness is nearly the ultimate qualium; absence of
> :this qualium makes the others less than conceivable. In this model, we
> :need a metameme that generates this qualium.
> Perhaps not. What if consciousness is the Emergent Behavior of environment,
> memes and meta-memes?

That's reasonable. [Maybe I'll see why to reshape my metaphysics, yet.]

I would classify both memes and metamemes as mental constructs, while
environment superficially is "everything I do not have direct control
over, from thirst and hunger to gravity to this table here, the class I
must show up at in fourteen hours, et. al." I don't mean to be provincial
and restrict attention to the consensual environment.

The proposal, then, is that consciousness/self-awareness is an emergent
property of the above, and that one of its primary hallmarks is emulating
the Cartesian Theater, and enabling direct perception of qualia.

This could be squashed into a Christian framework, assuming the Strong
AI hypothesis. (maybe this will help, Ken Pantheists) One thing the OT
and NT are reasonably uniform on is that a human being is not complete
unless his "soul" and his "body" are integrated. If we view "soul" as
the memes and metamemes (reasonable, by analogy with CIS), and "body" as
the interface between the memes and metamemes with the environment, then
"spirit" (the aspect with consciousness/self-awareness capability) is an
emergent phenomenon, this is trivial. I've heard those with theological
training insist on this.

I have often wondered if the operational definition of body (for those
who have qualia of self-awareness) should simply be "that portion of
matter which we have direct sensory feedback and some direct control over."
It makes for some interesting science fantasy.

Perhaps the Cartesian Theater [the central I] is so persistent because it
is objective. In this model, the "I" is an emergent phenomenon, loosely
called "spirit". It is not obviously localizable at small scales....

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd