Re: virus: Rationality

Alex Williams (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 09:00:28 -0500 (EST)

> I'm afraid I still veiw that as transmission. For example, if I were
> to verbally propose meme X to you, and your current memesphere had
> room for that meme, then the phrase, or whatever, X would linger in
> your mind for a bit, until such time as you have thought about it an
> accepted it. Surely, then, the meme has been transmitted.

Something very /like/ meme X may hang about in my mind for a bit; its
certainly not the same meme X that you possess because I've
reconstructed it from your linguistic `scrunching and twisting' to
borrow a phrase from another post. I've reconstructed this meme
internally from the signs and portents you've been hurling at my
physical body's neural appratus.

My version of meme X and yours are probably /significantly different/,
even in the most ideal of interpretive stances that I can hold. In
transmission, it would have been moved, but nothing here has moved,
you have merely used a mostly shared protocol to cause me to
reconstruct a meme fairly like yours.

Think of it from an Object Oriented Programming paradigm: memespheres
are like Objects, with their own embedded state and methods/operators
(memes and language/interpretive means). It violates encapsulation
(the laws of physics as currently known) to just go in and set a value
in an Object from another Object (psychically plant one of your memes
in my head); instead, youObject must send a protocol-formatted
operator on meObject in which you attempt to encode the value and the
place in which to store it. If our protocols differ somewhat, the
value I receive will likely not be what you intended, but it may be
`close enough' for meObject to function on that operation, extend my
protocols, whatnot.

> I think we're going to have a definition problem here (surprise-
> surprise). I noticed in another post, Brodie used the word "propogation".
> Would this be the same as transmission?

I'm typically pretty clear about my definitions differing from the
norm when it comes up.

Propogation is an acceptible compromise for me. While `trans missvm'
(move across, L.) isn't an accurate picture of how I see things going
on, the propogation (breeding, mutating, progression) of memes across
a population is much more palatable. Transmission, to me at least,
suggests errors are minimized, the signal is uniformly clear, binary
sent/not-sent state. Propogation, well ... messages propogate in `The
Telephone Game' and mutation's the fun of the hour.