Re: virus: Re: Rationality

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 5 Mar 1997 23:51:04 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 5 Mar 1997 wrote:

> Prof. Tim wrote:
> > Oh, quite. But in order for you to become aware of any impulse, whether
> > memetic in nature or otherwise, it needs to be translated into a language
> > your operating system (consciousness) can understand, ie. memes.
> Are you advocating, then, that every action that one undertakes is controled/
> guided by a meme or meme-complex? Again, this leads us to the free will
> question.

Advocating? No, more like making it up as I go, but it seems to make
sense so far. I wouldn't use words like "guided/controlled" here, any more
than you are "guided" by the set of words that mean "a slippery water
dwelling creature" when you choose the word "fish".

> > > So memes are justifications for actions, and not the reason for the
> > >action?
> >
> > Hmmm ... I'm not sure I agree... Not justifications, as such.
> I'm trying to work out whether you mean that the mind relies on the meme
> to make a decision, or whether the mind blames the meme for the decision,
> without using it in the first place.

I'd say a little of both. In my example (not a great one, I'll admit, I
kind of cramped-up while flexing-on-the-fly there I think) I think the
non-conscious looks in the lexicon of existing internal memes to inform
the conscious. But at the same time, if it looked under "fire--things to
do when on" and found "run like hell" at the top of the list it would
implement that action. By the same token, if you learned some new things
and non-conscious went back to look under "fire--thing to do when on" and
found that "drop and roll" was the dominant meme in that file, your action
would be different. In the process of informing (I like that word better
than "blaming") the conscious, the non-conscious can be influenced.
Remember, it's not like one section is e-mailing the other. The links are
so close that the feedback can be almost immediate.

> > Just the protocol the non-conscious mind
> > uses to inform the conscious (and, maybe, vise-versa). It's far to
> > complicated for the non-conscious mind to say, "excessive heat was
> > registered at body location 23.456.12 and as a result muscles numbers 937,
> > 939, and 1123 thru 1147 were fired in sequence reference number 781 in an
> > attempt to avert possible damage to regions 23.456.12 and surrounding,
> > please note these changes in present location of region 23.456.12 and
> > check for damage to region." Instead the non-conscious goes to the old
> > lexicon of internal memes an picks "fire bad" and "move hand quickly" and
> > shoots them up into the conscious mind.
> Ahah, I think I see this. Memes are shortcut-keys, if you like. They
> are quick references to more complex functions. Kind of like KMO's
> Buddist Temple Lion? I'd never thought of meme's like that. That's
> quite a useful model, cheers.

I'm glad it worked for you. Not to well thought through, but it seems to
have made the point, I guess.

Prof. Tim