Re: virus: CoV Memetics: Mysticism of the 90's

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Tue, 18 Feb 97 12:06:00 PST

Prof. Tim,

I'm no expert on the echidna, but I do know that it's not
a prosimian. It's a monotreme, like the platypus. (The most basic
division of mammals is into monotremes, marsupials, and placental
mammals--the great majority of non-Australian mammals, including
us and the prosimians, are placental mammals.) Other than that,
"evolutionary dead end" is teleological at best, and implies someone
or something that is doing the planning. In the most basic
sense, the echidna is successful: it's still around.

From: owner-virus
To: virus
Subject: Re: virus: CoV Memetics: Mysticism of the 90's
Date: Friday, February 14, 1997 4:47PM

On Wed, 12 Feb 1997, Dave Pape wrote:

> But, just like to /fully/ understand a chemical reaction you'd need to
> understand ALL conditions throughout the whole universe, to fully
> a person, you'd need to understand the entirety of culture just prior to
> making your prediction, and you'd have to know just how their memetic
> ecology was structured... probably entailing knowing how their brain is
> physically wired up...

In Australia there is an anteater, /Echidna/, a prosimian, that somehow
went down an evolutionary dead end. It has a tremendously developed
frontal cortex. If we had as large, in proportion to limbic system, we'd
need to carry our brains around in wheelbarrels. But it is stupid, a
veritable moron amongst anteaters. Why? Because it has to /fully/
understand something in order to act. It has to work everything out, do
all the math, before it can do anything. It can't /guess/. It doesn't
have /hunches/, it lacks a developed limbic system to process partial
information. Fortunately, we do not. Humans have the most developed
limbic systems on the planet. We /can/ act even if we don't have all the
facts. We /do/ have intuition even if we can't put a finger on what that
is, objectively.

-Prof. Tim