Re: virus: MEME UPDATE: To Censor Or Not?

Dave Pape (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 01:43:20 GMT

>> I don't believe in free will. What I feel as "new ideas" and "decisions" are
>> memes/ideas associating and competing in my brain. All my thoughts, even
>> those I used to think were "original", can be explained by memetic/cognitive
>> interactions like:-
>I hope you don't have this meme then [I do!]:
>"If I have no free will, then I am completely, totally irrational."

That meme is a strong part of my make-up. I'm convinced that thinking
organisms will evolve with memes that confer a comfort/reproductive benefit
on them FIRST, and a mental reflection of reality a very poor SECOND.

If memes are competitive entities, vying for control of neural resource,
then that's not a "rational" way for thoughts to be processed. Any old
irrational thought can conceivably gain a massive upper hand in control of
any number of brains, because it happens to agree with incumbent memes, and
with evidence available to those brains at that time.

The big problem for me then is how to explain APPARENTLY rational thinking
in these irrational computing devices which we call people. Well... I reckon
that memes under increasingly severe/rigorous selection pressures (such as
those subject to application of Scientific Method) tend towards appearing to
be processed rationally. I'm struggling to explain this ATM... any ideas
for/against from anyone else?

>Since I "happen" [sic] to abhor the conclusion, I deny the premise.

Woah. THAT's not very rational, is it? (Didn't mean that too aggressively).
Yup, it's a complete bastard as far as I can see, and it also means I don't
actually think human beings will EVER know The Truth.

I think there's a Turing/Hofstadter argument about no computing system ever
being able to model/understand its own processing. Well, I'd argue that
conscious beings are how the universe partially knows itself, and thus
they're part of the universal system, and hence will never understand that
system fully.

But, being a full and total artefact of the deterministic interactions of
our memes, we carry on. So, proud memeticists: carry on, for you have no choice.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (The more things change, the more
it's a meme thing)

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