Re: virus: Rationality

Tony Hindle (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 07:05:47 +0000

I wrote
>>Any rationality is
>>the result of "memetic software written on our irational
>>biological minds".

Dave wrote
>I'm with you apart from "written", which implies the existence of a writer.
>I think you have to say "emerging from the action of" instead of "written
>on", because if there IS a writer, well shit, how does THEIR software work?
Agreed, we could even say the memetic software writes
itself onto the hardware of our minds. A meme's goal is to become
part of a brain's memetic software ("the haven that all memes
seek"-- Dawkdennetstadter.) Developing this idea further, we could
say that the environment for memes consists not only of other memes
but also of our biological minds. That is why for example fear
inducing memes can spread so successfully, they are well adapted to
our biological minds, they press the right buttons. (when we think
something is a threat we tell our friends.) This idea came from the
first chapter of either virus' of the mind and it convinced me to
order it.
>Hmm... I'd say though that there's no switch between all irrational and all
>rational... I'd say you learn a modulating level of rationality in loads of
>different contexts.
I'd say the different contexts represent different inputs
to our minds, which given their memetic program, always operate
rationaly (unless they are either broken or have a temporary
spanner in the works -- which can be great fun:)
You once wrote that you think irrationaly when you are
writing funny scripts. This presumably allows you to make them
funnier, your brain is being rational in executing a "make this as
funny as possible" program.

> the behaviour we see that leads to things that'd make us content... we
>call rational.
Yes. I think one parameter that has a profound affect on
how rational we appear to be is "how far in the future we are
planning." If our sights are set on the years to come we behave
differently than if we are thinking about the next hour (we stay in

Tony Hindle.