Re: virus: Rationality

Martz (
Mon, 3 Mar 1997 21:45:55 +0000

On Sun, 2 Mar 1997, Alex Williams <> wrote:

>I guess in this particular field of discussion I'm keen on
>over-specification as a means of avoiding unintentional conflicts of
>interpretation. The overall `want to' is hard to discern; its sort of
>like saying a cloud `wants' to disperse when its the overall motion of
>millions of Brownianly-inspired particles that give that impression.

Yeah but it's *hard* to be perfectly specific in a summary point. I
tried goddammit!

>> The 'physical medium' includes anything from a stream of photons through
>> copper wire to telepathy (if such exists). No restrictions inherent,
>> although I take your point re: the suggestion of it.
>I hope its /electrons/ heading through a coper wire or I'm wondering
>why you're cutting me off from the outside world, starting with
>lasering my phone cords ... :)

Did I say that? Doh! Freudian slip. He's on to me now.

>> The three steps form exactly that separation. Step 2 is concerned with
>> the media alone, the protocols are involved in the
>> creation/deconstruction of the symbols at either end.
>Your steps distinguish but the following dialogue/discussion did not,
>so I felt it was useful to reiterate.

One thing I think I should mention at this point. I mentioned that I
thought any communication could be broken down *recursively* into the
three steps ( heaven. Shit. I can't get that tune outta my head).
Our discussion so far has treated a meme division (biology
again...sorry) as a single iteration of the model but I think we need to
be aware of (but not necessarily explore) a greater depth. If we focus
on step one we'll see yet more levels of communication, where two memes
in your head are interacting, one sending signals to the other. There
must be some form of communication for that interaction to take place.
Multiple instances of this would occur before a signal was transmitted.
We could look down to individual neurons if we were so inclined (I'm
not, BTW 8). All of these packets bouncing around *must* involve some
noise factor so I would expect quite a high variance from the original
(even more if it weren't for the error correction build in at various

>> >Its much like a learning NNet in continuous flux; creating a pattern
>> >its rewarded for reinforces that pattern, which makes it more likely
>> >to emerge and things /like/ it to emerge.
>> Ultimately even supplanting the original version.
>When its the version itself that is fluxing, that would seem to be the
>ultimate result.

Aren't you flying against your own model here? Surely in your terms the
original meme is either still there, but not the current version, or
else has been deleted or overwritten? Or do you see different rules
applying to intra- and inter-cranial communication?

>[Gee, when everyone agrees the discussion peters out rather quickly.

Agree? A temporary aberration on the otherwise perfectly turbulent face
of Virus.


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