Re: virus: Re: Rationality
Fri, 7 Mar 97 13:56:04 GMT

Alex Williams wrote:

> wrote:
> > If the mind is /not/ separate from the memetic structure, then aren't all
> > thought processes just bits of memetic programming interacting? This
> > makes you just like a computer, with it's OS. You may be able to
> > put across the impression of being a fee-thinking free-acting machine,
> > but in actuality, you're just a programme that's quite clever.
> Precisely, just bits of memetic programming/memetic agents interacting.
> Tell me, can you predict the exact results of, say, the Amazon river
> basin, over the next thirty-thousand years?

Not personally, but I'm sure a reasonable approximation is possible.

> Its /just/ filled with a
> large number of biological agents with a fairly limited number of
> possible interactions. Can you predict what its content will be /5/
> years from now? Interaction in the memetic millieu occur /extremely/
> quickly.

Are you talking about the life within the river basin, or the actual
shape and flow of the river itself? Sorry, you've confused me as
to where this is coming from.

> Can you predict what a Tierran environment will look like after
> 50,000,000 generation?

Given enough time, I suspect that it would be possible to recreate
a number of possible outcomes.

> Its just a very clever programme, after all ...

The difference (and I'm assuming here, because I don't know) is that
we think we are conscious. Or at least, I do. I don't know about
you and your island :) I could be deluding myself that I'm conscious,
but to delude myself, what would I have to delude? My consciousness
presumably. Ok, now break away from that for a moment, and turn to
the computer OS. You're computer's not sentient/conscious (that
was the assumption I made). If it were, it would be akin to some
kind of killing to unplug it :) If, therefore, we connect the
2 ideas, and model ourselves as just highly complex operating systems,
we run into the problem or our self-awareness. This is why I
think that we cannot be /just/ a meme-complex.

> What I'm trying to convey, clumsily, is that `free will' is a misnomer;
> there /is/ no `free will,'

I'd agree with that, but probably for different reasons :)