Re: virus: Discoveries and Inventions

Dave Pape (
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 23:49:55 GMT

At 11:15 05/02/97 -1000, Peter wrote:

>May someone new join the fray?


>Being a Heuristically evolved autocataclytic memetic-algorithm complex
>myself I'd like to suggest that the research being done on computer genetic
>algorithms is a model we might use to find a naturally occuring

The problem I'd see with a memetic algorithm is this business of memes
giving rise to metasystems OF MEMES which give rise to metasystems OF
MEMES... I've seen computer models of human tasks like typing and word
recognition which have very dull-looking "word nodes" and "letter nodes" and
"feature nodes", but... how close are we to cracking an algorithm that
builds new computers for itself? New systems for itself to compute in? Or is
it just a problem of Van Neumann processing time?


>I don't ascribe to memes as totally free agents.

Not at all. Indeed and truly no. Free memes are... unstable and senseless
memes. "Vacuum-packed Klondyke homeopaths". That's a meme freed of selection
pressures. In fact, probably without heavy selection pressures to drive
them, we'd never even be able to develop memes to distinguish between our
parents' faces.

>This system evolved from primate brain and is, in effect, evolution
>evolving a 3-D model of itself, one that is able to play-out scenarios
>performed by self-sustaining "characters." At first the memetic-characters
>were the creatures and forest that surrounded the proto-human.

What about a next stage where the memetic characters are other, social human
beings? I think that the selection pressure for more and more
meme-supporting cortex was the selective advantage a tribal hominid would
get from being able to model the memes of his/her peers, thus being able to
predict their (very complex) actions...

>In time
>these jungle reflected memetic-algorithms began to breakup, so to speak, and
>reform into non-linear forms that resulted into ideas as we experience
>them. One character in this jungle is the character of self. Currently, the
>self character is playing out scenarios having to do with consciousness and
>free will. These particular scenarios have proved themselves very
>successful, but they are misleading in the extreme. The illusion of
>consciousness creates an adaptability factor probably equal to the
>flexibility "zero" gave mathematics, but it simultaneously diverts us from
>objective inquiry into self.


I certainly don't profess to know what's going on with consciousness... I
think that all I'm aware of is memes about memes about perceptions... I'm
sure my height of consciousness buckets up and down on all timescales
throughout my day and my life, but... can you give a few back-ups for this one?

Generally I love the idea that most of what we hold dear about ourselves is
only there because it gets us by, and that the history of science has been
one of rude awakenings.

>The ideas we use now are still, in effect, representaves of the jungle that
>surrounds us and they interact with each other, heuristically playing out
>(as in football practice, or an E-mail group) possible strategies regarding
>the past, present and future.

Yes, in that memes act as our model of the physical and social world. I
think you're missing the massive importance of the social dimension to this,
but I agree with the principle...

>This enormously useful device, this
>evolutionary theatre (quite the inverse of Cartesian theatre) did not come
>with a free pass though.

The audience is all on stage, no-one's watching!

>Nature does not give things away. The primate
>personality still retains propietary rights. Memetic-algorithm complexes,
>what you call memes, are still very much servants, in that the fundamental
>genetic directives are still in tact, and can and do exert themselves
>maintaining the homo-sapien personality or philosophy (Raise your family,
>ignore the riff-raff.) This philosophy persists, regardless of whatever
>scenarios are created in the cortex, or transfeerred exo-cranially. In this
>regard I disagree with what seems to be the accepted principle of
>unregulated memetic evolution.

Where do you stand on the free-will-real-or-illusory debate? Eh? Pal? Go
on... mate?

Because what you seem to be getting at here is that even though we THINK
we're free, what we actually want to do most of the time is things which
favour the propagation of our genes. "Hey everyone, we're free! Yes! We can
do anything we want! Any conceivable thing at all! ...Let's show off how
wealthy we are, and have sex."

>so might save the group a few eons, and we could get on to C of V missionary
>work. I vote for pairs of guys riding bicycles, wearing tan slacks, brown
>shoes, aloha shirts, and carrying black books that look like bibles but are
>actually blank pages.

That's an accurate portrait of me. Though I don't buy into the missionary
stuff, apart from telling people that ideas are like replicating entities,
and then having unwieldy late-night conversations with them.

>Adore the group, I'm glad you are all here,

In your pineal gland and palps, let there be peace.

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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