Re: virus: Limbic Understanding

Peter Charlot (
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:51:20 -1000

>Comments anyone? (sorry, again about the length of this post)
>Prof. Tim

This overview is right on and deserves the attention you give it.

Some schools of thought are trying to come up with a definition for what
they call qualia. This being the smallest unit of awareness. I would
suggest that a qualia contains three electro-chemical components: meme +
emotion + action. You cannot have one without the other (even if the action
is to do nothing.) The smallest form a meme can take is a
memetic-algorithm(a self reproducing code), perhaps hundreds of these
coalesce during infancy to form the meme-complex of a "leaf." The smallest
possible emotion is a single "note" played on the body image within the
brain. Thousands of these meme-evolved-impulses play "musical"
themes(beautifully described by William James) on our nervous system. This
is the emotion of how we feel about the leaf. This emotion is the awareness
and explains why it follows the decision or recognition regarding "leaf." In
turn an action follows the emotion, the action having evolved as the other
components and represents the heuristic strategy based on all the previous
input. This is a continually unfolding process, each woven into the next

If thousands of impulses are involved in "simple" leaf recognition we can
then begin to imagine how complex language is, much less a fully formed
personality. All words contain layers of competing-meme-definitions that are
ultimately sublingual and based on juxtapositions of natural world
phenomina. If this is so, then it brings up the possiblity that a really
good mime could explain the theory of relatively without using words or
numbers at all.

But, more delightful, we can understand the nature of dreams. After a days
worth of meme-complexes attempting to win the ultimate goal, that being to
play their tune on the body images nervous system, there is a tremendous
backlog of losers. To flush out the system requires that these excess
qualia do get to play their own gigs, but only when the "action" component
is rendered inactive. I like to think of dreams as analogous to when the
busboy plays the piano after the club closes. Occasionally the bus-boy is
the better musician than the fellow who gets paid.