Re: virus: Rationality

David McFadzean (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 11:56:56 -0700

> From: Alex Williams <>
> Date: Saturday, March 01, 1997 9:51 AM
> > Would you prefer looking at it as reproduction rather than transmisson?
> > So the meme has reproduced, but its offspring may have mutated.
> Reproduction is good /in concept/, but it doesn't capture the
> mechanism for myself well enough. We create signals from memes in
> protocols encoded by memes. Those signals travel. The signal is
> interpreted by protocol-memes and the interpreted/created memes are
> dumped into the memesphere of the recipient. As I see it, that's the
> process. Intermediately, there are no memes at all, just signal.

Can't you see that is what we (and information theorists and
evolutionary biologists) mean by "transmission"? I guess if you
don't like the word, there is nothing I can do about it. But the
onus is on you to supply a better one.

> Looking at it from the biological reproduction perspective removes
> consideration of the signal, and thus, the source of the mutation.
> Sort of like looking at biological organisms without knowing what DNA
> is; a step back.

Like it or not, that is where we are at in memetic theory. Like in
Mendel's days, we recognize the there is a pattern without understanding
the underlying mechanisms.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus