Re: virus: Why religious?

ken sartor (
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 14:38:23 -0600

At 05:55 PM 11/18/96 -0600, wrote:
>On Tue, 28 Aug 1956, David Leeper wrote:
>> > As farFrom Wed Nov 20 12:01:34 1996
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Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 15:01:07 +0000
From: "Hakeeb A. Nandalal" <>
Organization: Advanced Land Surveying
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Alex Williams wrote :-

> To accept that memes can be both dormant and active as well as
> seperate from a mind violates Occam's Razor in my perception. If you
> start with the simpler axiom that only active memes can breed memes,
> the means or vectors of transmission become mere abstraction. If one,
> on the other hand, prefers your paradigm, the additional complication
> of dormancy without context or ability to become active becomes
> present.

Have you ever heard of the Ebola Virus? Or better yet, have you ever heard
of a "book"? These self-replicating entities can be called dormant, yet
when given the right environment - from which they whence came - they can
be reactivated. If the reactivation is different from the original form -
then we'd have to call that a "mutation".

Without this principle, human knowledge as we know it today would probably
be based on stories at the fireside in the forest. So what exactly is
"dormant" anyway? Is my e-mail dormant until I read it? Do the ideas
fade away if I read them too late? To me genes, memes, words, all
that is "order" which can be "recorded" on paper, DNA, disk, is code.

This is the sequence as I see it :-

1. Code (pattern : raw ordered data)
2. Meme (information : interpretation of data by similar species which wrote code)
3. Behavior (emotion : caused by meme, encouraged to replicate meme)

Meme replication takes place by oscillating between 1, 2 & 3.


I live to simplify ideas and have them simplified for me. If I'm dead wrong
at least simplify the argument without dumbing-it down.

Hakeeb A. Nandalal