Re: virus: Re : Complexity was TT and Absolute Truth
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 11:43:48 -0600 (CST)

On Sat, 7 Dec 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> From:
> > I would say that the places to attack are:
> > 1) #1,2,3,4
> > 2) The implication #4 => #5.
> >
> > I think the implication is MUCH more vulnerable to being false.
> The implication is "if memes are not encoded in speech then
> memes cannot be transmitted by speech." Why is that unreasonable?
> (Keep in mind that despite what you and others have suggested in this
> thread, "encoded" does not mean self-contained.)

One of my reasons for having grave doubts about that implication is that
there are ways to completely change the semantics of language without
affecting the physical recording system [speech, writing, art are all

The example I tossed out about trying to run a program compiled for one
processor on a second incompatible processor doesn't apply to this
caveat. That example is like trying to read Egyptian without the
Rosetta stone. That is another caveat, which I don't care to reiterate.
It is easier to demonstrate my point in less complicated fields like

I found Alexander Williams' comments relevant here; it illustrates my
point fairly well, in its context. Much of mathematics is devoted to the
use of structure-preserving maps, which can do some fairly strange things.

In another tangent [the amnesiac approach]
For instance, [in the complex numbers], i and -i literally cannot be
distinguished for mathematical purposes. The choice of which square root
of -1 we call i is completely arbitrary.

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