Re: virus: Discoveries and Inventions

Peter Charlot (
Thu, 6 Feb 1997 14:38:06 -1000

Much thanks Dave for the welcome and response (even as war looms.) It is

At 11:49 PM 2/5/97 GMT, Dave Pape wrote:

>...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?

Genetic and Memetic algorithms are being used to do ever growing numbers of
sophisticated tasks. Work is being done in Sussex, England on a robot based
on algorithms.'re along ways from the kind of sophisticated
algorithms that I believe exist in the cortex.

New subject...

>but... can you give a few back-ups for this one?

Consciousness, as in "I am" is a meme and therefore a survival strategy, a
strategy that by definition must exclude the growth of other potentials. I
believe consciousness should be considered a religion.

New subject...

>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...

Au contrare. I support the idea of mega-minds...sapient beings made up of
humans, who may or may not even be aware of us, as we are not aware of our
own internal personalities (except as you state in another piece, as
confusion, etc.) Mega-minds are a more comprehensive and significant
possibility than thinking of the earth as a big petri-dish full of
proliferating viruses. We could communicate with mega-minds.

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

No free will, but evolution moves toward it, memes get it as close as
evolution can (So far).