Re: virus: Metasystem Transition

Dave Pape (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 20:51:41 GMT

At 16:22 28/01/97 -0800, you wrote:
>I excerpted:
>> >control of position = movement
>> > control of movement = irritability (simple reflex)
>> > control of irritability = (complex) reflex
>> > control of reflex = associating (conditional reflex)
>> > control of associating = human thinking
>> > control of human thinking = culture
>And Dave replied:
>> Everyone check this out. They're NEARLY right...
>As far as I understand, they posted it as a vague model intended to
>exemplify the concept of metasystems. 'THE right model of life' is a
>crown they've never claimed. But the third and the fourth step seem
>especially logical. What do you aim by 'nearly'? What's your view of it?

I think their concept of control is wrong.

In the section of their site which deals with the concept of Control, they
talk about the relationship between controller systems (C) and controlled
systems (S). They think that C may change the state of S in any way,
including the destruction of S.

I can't accept that. What I think is that associative cognition ARISES FROM
interactions in neural/cognitive processing at the reflex level, that human
thinking ARISES FROM cognitive processing at the associative level, that
culture ARISES FROM processing at the human thinking level. I don't think
that culture controls human thinking any more than thinking controls culture.

I was massively excited by the steps in the table you posted, because I
think that:

atomic phenomena arise from subatomic interactions
molecular phenomena arise from atomic interacttions
genetic phenomena arise from molecular interactions

cognitive phenomena arise from genetic interactions


memetic phenomena arise from cognitive interactions

"atomic interactions" are atomic-sized things mixing in dynamic
equilibria... "molecular interactions" are molecules kicking around in
primeval soups... or cells...
"genetic interactions" are... kind of evolution, speciation, ecological
"cognitive interactions" are ideas associating together.

But I don't think that one level of interaction (one metasystem in Turchin's
words) would ever replace or destroy another level. I'm quite into the
cellular automaton grid view of the universe to be honest, but with the
processing that goes on throughout that grid creating new metagrids to
compute itself in. Hmm.

Dave Pape
The memetic equivalent of a G3 bullpup-design assault rifle blowing a full
clip at my opponent. (Alex Williams 1996)

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