Re: virus: Re: Rationality (meme make-up)
Fri, 14 Mar 97 11:12:56 GMT

> > > Drakir:
> > >Someone, in the last couple of weeks, said that no meme cannot be broken
> > >down further. Do you agree? Surely there must be some fundamental level
> > >for a singular meme, otherwise, meme-complex and meme would be universally
> > >interchangeable.
> >
> > Dave Pape:
> > Someone answer this, because it's been confusing me for ages as well... is
> > there an atomic meme? I'm kind of thinking no... but then I spin off into a
> > fractally recursive explanation wormhole.
> Lee Daniel Crocker:
> Seems pretty obvious to me: a neural pattern that causes a single-nerve
> stimulus to produce a single muscle contraction is the "atomic" meme,
> from which all others all built. Of course, it has to be an acquired
> pattern, not hard-wired.

I'm sorry to be such a bastard, but I'm going to throw loads of stuff
in here, at the risk of making this very confusing.

First: What is Hardwired? In an infants initial learning process, I
understand that the neurons fire random patterns, in an attempt to figure
out what does what. Are it muscle functions, therefore, all necessarily
memes? Does a muscle learn what to do when neurons fire at it, or is
it also programmed by memes?

Second: You say a single muscle contraction is the "atomic" meme, but
surely there are many processes involved in this muscle contraction. The
neuron has to fire, the signal has to be transmitted, the muslce cells
(and there are a fair few of them) all have to do their stuff, working
as a team. Surely, therefore, the neuron firing is the exercise of
one meme, the transmission is the exercise of another, and the actual
muscle contraction itself is a complex web of memes that allow the muscle
to know what it should do when the stimulus arrives.

I'm sure that in each of these processes, there are smaller memes than that,
also. What do you think?

Third: How far are you willing to take the term "meme"? Can we really
take it to such a microscopic level?

Fourth: This is where it gets confusing :) /If/ a fundamental meme can be
identified, can it transmitted /by itself/? Can it "die" when propogating?
What use is a meme that is so small? OK, now, leading on from this, /if/
it is possible to transmit fundamental memes on their own, or in very small
groups, is it possible to take a meme (read meme-complex) and propogate
it as smaller parts, and have it rebuilt inside the new host? That would
be the ultimate way to infect without detection.