Re: virus: Rationality

Alex Williams (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 11:47:35 -0500 (EST)

> > Then we got lucky. Either I'm amazingly good at communicating my meme,
> > or you're amazingly good at interpreting my communication, or we just
> > flat out got lucky. Or have developed an amazingly good protocol that
> > reduce the probability of encoding/interpretation, I suppose.
> Good. Now I'm willing to bet there is no /significant/ difference
> between what you were trying to communicate in the above paragraph
> and my understanding of it. Would you agree?

I don't know. I'm not sure that its even a knowable question, in
fact. It goes beyond just the raw informational content of the intent
that led to the above words, to how they're spawning memes that are
engaged differently in your memesphere than mine.

I refer you to Eva's previous reply on this thread that mentioned that
when the protocol is effective, when the memes interpreted are close
to the ones intended, the protocol is easily overlooked, its when
/mis/communication occurs, when the process `breaks down,' when you
ask me to step outside because you think I'm bad mouthing your wife at
a party when I'm actually sharing an inside joke at a party, or you
think I'm supporting subjective reality when I'm actually parodying
it, or such things, that letting the protocol drop out of the
recognition in the process has its largest impact.

In a sense, the majority of the Memetic Engineers in the CoV seem
obsessed with `pure theory' discussions of the physics of memetics, in
a sense. All communications are considered `in the clear,' its the
memes they focus on to the exclusion of the environmental factors that
add in. I feel like I'm more the Engineer, at times, because I'm
concerned with the practicum, at looking at where and why things break
down, at when the signal to noise is low and the misinterpretations

> > But this isn't /just/ information in the pure-information sense; memes
> > have `hooks,' for lack of a better word, environment, in which
> > meme-transaction within the memesphere occur and are facilitated by.
> I still don't see the difference, could you elaborate?


Consider `the sky is blue,' as a meme. Relatively simple alone, a
factual state of the observed universe, not really interactive with
the everyday life of existance except in passive notice. This is in
Memesphere A.

Memesphere B is in downtown OK City just before a tornado. The sky is
/green/. In Memesphere B, the meme `the sky is blue' is still present
(in a variant form due to memetic pressures because of different
environmental factors). The meme `the sky is green' is strongly
outcompeting `the sky is blue,' but `the sky is blue' is actually
pretty likely to see some memetic "hits," probably in the context of
moaning, 'I wish the sky was blue!' while running for cover.

Different environment:

Memesphere A is a member of the Soviet Cabinet during the Cold War.
It posseses an extensive meme-complex regarding Communism. Daily, it
spawns actions that have a certain character.

Memesphere B is the head of foreign operations in the KGB. It too
possesses an extensive meme complex that shares much in common with
M-A regarding the nature of Communism, but due to different memetic
pressures, it no doubt differs in several particulars and spawns
different behaviours.

M-C is the head of the CIA. Communism is a large meme complex that
takes considerable attention time during the Cold War for M-C. Still,
due to memetic pressures it differs from M-A's and M-B's Communism
meme complex, yet is /largely the same/. The environment of the
memesphere leads to different interactions and different spawned

More than /just/ the information in a meme, the other memes in its
environ affect its activity.