Re: virus: Rationality

Alexander Williams (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 14:10:10 -0500

David McFadzean wrote:
> If this e-mail message (an electronic file) is transmitted across
> the internet, then memes are transmitted. Both are converted to
> signals and converted at the receiving end into something resembling
> the original. Of course you could say (with some accuracy) that no two
> people share a meme, they are all slightly different, but I don't think
> that is constructive at all.

Actually, this /file/ isn't transmitted across the Internet; this file
exists for a transitory time before being a copy is added to a different
file which is then encoded in various ways and those encodings sent
across the cable to several intermediate places at which its
reinterpreted from the signal, repackaged, re-encoded and that new thing
encoded for transmission.

Back in the days when various mailers used different encoding methods,
an email that transitted an especially onerous node might be
misinterpreted and that misinterpretation promulgated. As protocols
improved (as language evolved) messages were sent/interpreted with more
accuracy on the far end, but its never the same file as started

I hold to the idea that no two memes in different memespheres are
identical; they may be similarly derived, and as we develop more and
more useful protocols the memes that are interpreted in others' heads
become more and more like the ones we want to create their (they more
closely mimic our model), but the fuzziness in that interpretation is
/important/ to me in my thinking about memes.

   Alexander Williams{}
The  Mekton  is a  powerful tool,  both  physically and emotionally.
There is something that  happens to an  enemy when he sees his  home
and family stepped on by a hundred ton metal man.    -- Arkon Verian
Of  all the weapons of the  Empire, the  greatest and most respected
were the Metal Knights.  These Knights had served the leaders of the
Bendar for Generations,   righting wrongs and  bringing  fear to the
Empire's Enemies.  It is  said that these  metal giants were  shaped
like men so  that the alien servants of  Evil would know that it was
Man who defeated them.
                               -- Scribings from the Murian Archives