Re: virus: Rationality

Alex Williams (
Sun, 2 Mar 1997 22:45:57 -0500 (EST)

> Well, yes. But I didn't ask if they were the "same exact memes". I asked
> if it is reasonable to assume that there is no significant difference.
> If the memes are good enough (and you say that is likely), then it
> seems obvious that it is a reasonable assumption.

I'm wagering on there being significant differences; that's really the
main reason it seems people exchange information via communication,
especially in fora like this; the hope that other people will
misinterpret in `just the right way' and clarify on the new
perspective and, in so doing, illuminate the target from another

> True, but I don't think my assumptions are unreasonable.

Assuming I'm not a raving psychotic is /never/ reasonable. Mind you,
I have greater doubts about some of our list compatriots, but ...

> Now, if you recognize your originally intended meaning in my paraphrasing,
> then chances are really good that my memes generated from your message
> are not significantly different than yours.

Looks fairly close, if I'm not projecting the meaning I'd /like/ to
see on your text and we haven't just got phenomenally lucky again.

Look, I'm not saying communication is impossible. I'm not saying that
memes and their progeny don't propogate. I /am/ attacking the basic
assumption that the means aren't important, that they get abstracted
away into the details. A lot of modern memetic debate is at an
/extremely/ high degree of abstraction away `from the metal,' if you
will. I like grovelling around and getting my hands dirty at that
level of approach.

Think of it this way ... at least its not a polemic on "neo-cheating"
or teaching Manipulation ...