Re: virus: Rationality

Martz (
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 20:36:10 +0000

On Wed, 5 Mar 1997, Tony Hindle <> wrote:

<snipped Dennet summary>

Yep. That's pretty much what I meant. Buggerit.

<snipped internal feedback loop>

I can agree that when it's internal the attractor that is your memory of
something may error-correct.

>In this context I suppose a zero distance
>device would be a text copier, at least it would be zero distance
>for the text if it had perfect protocol for that text (easily done

It is??? Do tell.

>>> 2)spoken conversation between A & B: Big distance
>>And higher bandwidth. More signal. Even more if they're in eyesight.
> Yes. Yes. yes (although under some circumstances eyesight
>can increase the distance.) You see a beautiful woman you want to
>comunicate something impressive which you rehearse. Then as face
>one another, you say "Agh-blughl-oom".

Heh. Good point.

>>> The feedback process you talked about in the conversions helps
>>>reduce the distance as well.

<snipped error reduction using repeaters>

Alex would say that the meme hasn't been transmitted at all, there's
still the translation from ear to brain to go but I take your broad
point. A repeater could reduce the number of errors.


OK. That's put Dennett a couple of steps closer to the READ THIS NOW

> As for mapping the chinese whispers onto two people, Yes I
>can see that The original meme could see more distance with more
>iterations but I think it would be moving towards "a basin of
>attraction". At the basin would be a more stable (=satisfying?)

This makes sense. It just amazes me the distance it can cover before
settling. Unrecognisable at times.

> For the three women talking I think it would end up as a
>mutualy agreed tale that made all three of them feel good. If it
>also compelled them to tell others it would be something we might
>expect to hear often (gossip-with the spin that suits them).
> With us during our exchenges the meme will also move
>towards a basin of attraction, more satisfying to both of us
>because it complements our conceptual tool kit......Women eh!

You've said a mouthful there. I'd shied away from putting 'gossip' and
'women' in the same paragraph. You're braver than I.

> Point taken. When we agree we both agree with what we think
>the other is saying. The beauty of further comunication is that we
>can check our agreement by experiments e.g., use the new meme in a
>new context and see if the other understands.

But we can never prove perfect understanding to be true, we can only
prove it false. So even if we get there we won't know for sure.

>>> Perfect logic is a zero distance comunication tool.
>>Hmmm. I don't think so, but you're welcome to try to convince me.
> I supose I meant perfect protocol with no transmission

It's a theoritical construct which I don't think we'll ever find a match
for in nature (to my mind it's also verging on tautology but perhaps
that's just perspective) but yes, it is.

> Any metaphor that is partly isomorphic (meaning as I
>remember Hofstadter's meaning) is usefull but we must know its
>limits (exceeding them can be good for a laugh though)

Extrapolatio ad absurdum?

>>Awwwww. You were just getting to the good bit.

I meant depth-wise; spend more time error-correcting...the good bit's in
there if you can find it. Just a bit of banter.

> My real name is Cindy I am 21 and an international
>supermodel. My wife is expecting our first child on may 15th.

If both those sentences are true then I've just died and gone to heaven
(assuming you're a *female* supermodel...ah what the hell, I'll give it
a shot either way)

> Ok I've got to go now. I am going to be away from computer
>from 6th to 12ish march. ( frustrating cos Im just getting into

Welcome back.


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