RE: virus: C of V: Another Religion

Dave Pape (
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 21:49:39 GMT

At 23:14 30/01/97 EST, David Rosdeitcher wrote:

> When I made the suggestion that the CoV is like a religion in which memes
>are a higher power, some people (ie Dave M, and Gay) explained that just
>memes are an influence doesn't mean people are slaves to them. And, that it
>is a
>good concept to use in order to understand the spread of ideas and behaviors.
>This I agree with.
> However, others seemed to imply that memes do, in fact, control
>individuals, as if it were a higher power.

I don't think it's a higher power. Memes arise from human brains. Period.
Memes have the same relationship with a single person's private (unshared)
thoughts as that person's private thoughts have with... his/her simple, more
perceptual thoughts. I believe that the process of maturing as a personality
is all about simple perceptions and actions, simple ideas, becoming
associatively linked into larger, more abstract, cognitive constructs. And
the same can be seen in the cultural, memetic, world: Globally, we see small
pockets of cultural thought interacting and, from this interaction,
larger-scale cultures forming.

I also think the word "control" is bankrupt in this context. The
relationship between me and the memes in my head is... that I /AM/ the memes
in my head. I am what it feels like when the memes currently resident in my
head interact.

I disbelieve in freewill because I can see my decisions as interaction
between populations of memes, and, having a background in psychology, I'm
convinced that ideas and memes have a neurological, a physical, and
therefore a deterministic foundation. But, to say that memes control me is a
bit gross and emotive: I AM memes.

In another of your posts you wrote:

>3. Why the philosophy of objectivism will ultimately dominate cyberspace
>Darwinian natural selection.

It was when I started to apply my ideas about Darwinian selection to the way
I think ideas develop, that I became convinced that there's no freewill.

Because I am a memetic construct, a meta(meta...meta)system of memes, and if
memes interact, and their populations vary depending on their context
according to Darwinian selective processes, then I no longer need to propose
that anyone sits as some executive deciding what I should do. The selection
pressures on my ideas/memes will mean that, if I'm new to a situation,
behaviours will arise which were selected for in similar situations, and if
bad things happen when I behave like that, then those behaviours won't be
expressed next time I'm in that situation, because there'll be a selection
pressure against them. AND, if a meme is introduced from another brain which
gets me some positive benefit from that situation, then that meme will stick
in that part of my memetic make-up, and will easily be expressed next time
I'm in that situation.

The big debate when Darwin started to promote the concept of evolution by
natural selection, was that it didn't require God. I'm saying that thinking
of ideas as being subject to evolutionary forces means that you can get
massively unpredictable behaviour out of a system that doesn't require freewill.

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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