Re: virus: Discoveries and Inventions

Dave Pape (
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 00:21:49 GMT

At 13:41 03/02/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>From: Dave Pape <>
>>Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 22:00:26 GMT
>>Subject: Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V2 #27
>>Inventions are engineering metasystems which emerge from the interaction of
>>memes, organisms (largely human), and the components of the inventions
>Are emergent phenomena discovered?


How about conciousness?

No. .......Sorry?

>Place a verb in this sentence:
>The internet was _emerging from the interactions of memes hosted_ by people.
>Invent, create, discover, assemble... To the extent you hold one of these
>to be true, or another false, you are falling into the same arguments over
>definition that we've been falling into here again and again.

I don't want to insert any of those words. "Assemble" isn't /too/ far off
the mark, but the others? Oooo, no thanks. Part of the reason I started
posting to this list was because I want to define cognitive processes in
/memetic/ terms. So I decline your entrapping offer of sentence fillage, and
would reiterate my feelings about how "new" ideas arise:

I believe that new ideas are novel combinations of existing memes
(culturally stored ideas) and a mix of either other memes... or patterns of
perceptual stimulation. So, a new idea is either two existing ideas
interacting in your head, or one existing meme interacting with some aspect
of your perception of the world.

The internet arose from the interaction of HUGE NUMBERS of ideas, but all of
THOSE ideas arise from processes like those I described in the above paragraph.

>Language particles are not logically atomic and rigidly defined...or else
>there could be no poetry.

Sorry? Poetry? Listen, I love poetry, me. I wonder lonely as a cloud and
stuff. Often! Since when was I arguing for logical atomicity? Why do you
interpret my argument like this?

>I agree with Richard. An unreflective faith in consistency is as
>memetically sterile as an unreflective faith in God. Both may have their
>uses; neither is universal.

No belief system is memetically sterile; all pandemic belief systems must,
by their very nature, have been formed by a huge and complex set of memes
which very effectively pass from head to head. That is the definition of
memetic fecundity. If I see 5 people who think critically about memes, and
100 million who blindly follow the Christian faith, I say that the memes
which comprise Christianity are more fecund memes than those which comprise
the study of memes.

But, more urgently than this: I don't understand why you wrote that last
paragraph either. I literally don't understand your point.

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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