virus: Level 3 fight! Level 3 fight!

Dave Pape (
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 01:16:58 GMT

At 14:09 12/02/97 -0800, Richard wrote:

>Dave Pape wrote:
>>Richard's level 3 [CLIP] is just the expression of
>>metameta...metamemes with more meta's in front of them than Richard's
>>level 2.
>It's interesting that posting with clarity about Level 3 leads to
>increased MISunderstanding, not understanding.

My dictionary defines "clarity" as "clearness", and "clear" as "easily
perceived; distinct; evident; easily understood." So, I reckon that to an
extent you DIDN't post with clarity, and that to some extent I displayed not
misunderstanding, but disagreement.

Your memes transmitted to my cognitive processing space (CPS) and interacted
with incumbent memes there, with the effect that memes were transmitted back
which disagreed with the memes incumbent in /your/ CPS.

>>[CLIP] Richard, you can't surely be arguing that level 3
>>corresponds to a non-memetic process, can you?

>Yes. This particular process seems extremely difficult to transmit.
>I don't think memetics is a useful model for describing it. It's emergent.

An emergent cognitive phenomenon that doesn't transmit? Well... I'd like to
sketch a little model for cognitive phenomena that might explain this.

I'm beginning to see memes as a subset of all Cognitive Interactors (CIs). I
think that all ideas are interacting cognitive units, and that most are
metasystems of other units, etc. BUT I don't think that all of these units
replicate culturally (ie, some Cognitive Interactors aren't culturally
replicated- aren't memes).

Non-cultural CIs emerge from interactions between other CIs, which may or
may not be (received) memes. A non-cultural CI becomes a meme when it's

Some non-C CIs are comparatively simple: I think learned interaction of
information processing in sensory pathways of the central nervous system
constitutes non-C CIs.

Large-scale CIs emerge from interaction of smaller-scale CIs, some of which
have arrived in a person's cognitive processing space culturally, as
incoming memes. I'd argue that, just as I think that memes form an
ecological structure when they interact, so the CIs in a specific person's
head also give rise to a complex, dynamic ecological structure.

So, all my ideas and concepts, even ones I never transmit, are CIs. The ones
that transmit are called my memes. The rest are my non-cultural CIs.

What you describe as "Level 3 thinking" I'd describe as (so far)
non-culturally transmitted cognitive interactors, each emerging from the
interaction of many memes and other non-c CIs in your head. These meta-CIs
may not transmit to other heads, but they have the effect of switching
active cognitive interactor groups in your head.

I'll backtrack on the stance implied in my (clumsy and aggressive, sorry)
question, in that I'll agree that what you call Level 3 thinking may be
non-memetic. But I think that it emerges as a meta-CI, and as such is
subject to all the pressures of cognitive competition that other CIs (ideas,
concepts) are subject to.

And I still hold that your categorisation of belief-system processing into
discrete levels is artificial. I'd argue that what you see as an "either you
can or you can't" skill is in fact a set of skills practised to varying
degrees by lots of people, with the degree of practice corresponding to the
proportion of the time for which the relevant meta-CIs outcompete their
rivals for access to cognitive processing resource.

OUCH. Long post fear. This is a tentative theory by the way folks...
thoughts, gentle criticisms, and what the heck, suggestions for more catchy
terminology gratefully accepted.

Dave Pape
Ran out of sig. ideas.

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