Re: virus: Bastard Son of Virus

Peter Charlot (
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 16:54:56 -1000

At 01:59 AM 2/18/97 GMT, David Pape wrote:

>What, set them all on fire and pissed into the flames? YEH! ME TOO! I DID
>THAT TOO! Oh, wow! I knew you and me would kind of get along a bit. Jesus:
>you were walking through a large and desolate volcanic crater? That must
>have been like... High Wycombe.

Just a bit my meme-mate. I live in Volcano, Hawaii, atop the most active
volcano in the world, Kilauea. A long ways from a draft of beer we will one
day have in the UK (or here). The following is an inadequate response to
your replies to the previous post. As always I appreciate the opportunity
to get detailed, both receiving and sending. Most helpful for me. But it is
hit and miss and hard to keep track of important threads. Alas!
>Who are the images/representations for? Who watches the images? "The
>rabbit"? Because "the rabbit" is the thing that has the retina and the
>bouncing little feet and the flashing tail as it runs away. Does the rabbit
>have a little rabbit-homuculus in there, watching the images and operating
>the muscles? Cool! How does the homunculus's mind work?
No Homonculus. The rabbit is a complex of genetically wrought choices,
these contend heuristically for dominance. The picture of the hawk, or
whatever, instigates the internal battle of the various components of the
individual. We humans still maintain these genetically evolved responses
and they still contend with the new member of the gang, the cortex's memetic
ideosphere. Frankly I don't know if rabbits have memes or not, I'm sure
memes have evolved in various ways in different species, but for clarities
sake, in trying to determine where the memes emerged from, I suggest it was
this model.

>So is the meme... a pattern of neural firing, interacting as one of a
>network of such patterns, which aren't necessarily operating on sensory
>input to produce a motor output?

This is the "other subject" I refer to in my post. I don't know the proper
term for the system, but the brain contains a map of the body. Probe with
the appropriate instrument and you can make an arm jerk. I believe memes are
like old player piano rolls. They contain the image (tree, word, sound,
whatever). The image is attached to various meanings and actions. These
meanings and actions are in punch hole form, if you will. If a particular
meme wins the battle for dominance (anothe subject) it then plays over the
body image. This creates emotions, and also explains why we are conscious
after the fact. Consciousness is an emotion. It also plays over the motoric
nervous system. When we watch children learning to walk, we are watching
memes developing their punch-holes in the great memetic piano roll.

For a paragraph such as this, each word linked to the previous and next
establishes an emotional response filled with images and emotions. Generally
when we read, the "action" signals are to sit still and assimilate. This is
an action. Sometimes when we read things that move us, we tend to get up
and start roaming around, or shouting for an end to nonsense. But all of
these actions are created from the memetic piano roll crossing the body
image. But why aren't we just leaping around then like puppets at each
little word, especially if what we read induces lots of emotion? During
childhood we develop complexes of memetic patterns that create hierarchies
of behavior. We would dance around like puppets if it wasn't for these
meta-memes or what I like to call personalities. Children do jerk and
respond to every meme that crosses over their body image. Only "maturity"
develops controlling memes that can contain hierarchal responses. Once these
personalities become established it is pretty well nigh impossible to change
them. We are not, even as babes, tablua rasas.
>But remember that, with the whole thing being a network of competitive
>interactors (ideas in their various forms), minds will tend towards local
>maxima of effectiveness, ie, they'll feel very dodgy about doing things that
>render them less effective at maintaining their host's adaptation to its

I'm a great believer that memes don't want to mess with their hosts health.
There are lots of exceptions. For example it is still considered an honor to
die in battle for a just cause. It is still considered responsible to slave
away at some low wage job in order to raise one's family. These responses
are another indication of the existence of mega-minds, the willingness to
sacrifice individual personalities for the whole. We must do it all the time
inside our brains, it happens outside as well an individuals will willingly

>What /is/ really us, other than the reflexes and the memes we get from
>downloading bits of other people?
Oh! Dear! I slipped on this one, yes indeed, you all have extended
yourselves into my own being.