Re: virus: Rationality

Martz (
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 21:58:02 +0000

On Wed, 12 Mar 1997, Tony Hindle <> wrote:
>>>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.
> I think I was refering to text that is coded
>unambiguously like when transfering between two machines

This is a far from perfect mechanism. It's only by virtue of multi-
layered error trapping / correcting protocols that we keep the noticable
effects to a minimum. If you can afford the overhead you can eliminate
the errors *almost* completely. But perfect? No, I'm afraid not.

>, this
>is a not very interesting form of comunication, in fact it's
>just the "sending" part of your 3 point theory I think.

It's all 3 points. Each machine forms an end and the cable the medium.

> Far more interesting is when two or more of us try to
>comunicate. Ambiguity of meaning is rife because we all run a
>unique memetic software program in our heads and not two
>programs are completely compatible.

Sounds like my PC on a bad day.

>For me it makes the small
>mutual understandings we can come to all the more amazing.

When you consider that we're all huge neural nets which have been taught
by fairly similar experiences then it's not so surprising that we can
*seem* to reach understanding when we put our nets to it.

> I remember a parable from the Bible about people
>starving in hell cos they only had 10 foot chopsticks and nobody
>could use them to feed themselves. The difference in heaven was
>that people fed one another. This reminds me of how, by talking
>to one another we "hold each other's ladders" so we can take
>turns in climbing higher in design space.

The essence of good argument.

> Actually it may have "kinds of Minds" in which Dennett
>talks about mind tools but DDI is his most lucid work in my
>opinion. The main criticism I have of DDI it is that the dust
>jacket tears easily.

If that's your biggest criticism then I think I can live with it.
Function over form every time for me....well ok, there may be some
exceptions to that.

> Here are the bits I recomend you read first from
>Darwin's Dangerous Idea (these might wet your appetite so you
>read the whole book).

I've already decided that I'll be reading it but what with a full-time
job, two courses, trying to get a business off the ground, a new house
to decorate and of course CoV, time is a precious commodity at the

>>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.
> True. but I believe we can know for sure that our
>understanding has improved from what it once was. Strange as
>this may sound I believe in closer and closer aproximations to
>the truth.

Again, I broadly agree with what you're saying but I really don't think
we can know for sure.

>I think we both
>have similar memetic complexes for your concept of distance now.
>We need a name though, heres some suggestions:
> Mart'z & Tony's displacement in n dimensional thought
> Displacement in n-dimensional thought space.
> Movement through Babel's library. (Dennett)
> Semantic distance.
> your concept of distance
> intermeme distance.
> that 3 point comunication theory that was the first
>thing we spoke about together.
> I invite all suggestions, for now Im going with semantic

It'll certainly do to be going on with.

> I've been thinking about your theory and semantic
>distance and mind tools and lifting through design space and
>i've been inspired to write some good jokes (I write jokes for a
>dope smoking athiestic preacher and sexual deviant called the
>Rev. C. Darwin, he's just starting out in stand up comedy or
>factory line memetic fabrication as I like to think of it)

Let me know if you've got any gigs lined up around London. North of the
river and east of the city please? ;)

> The other day, using the new mind tools I have aquired
>from our exchange I almost felt I was deliberately designing the
>jokes rather than relying on those "creative moments" that come
>and go without my consent (free will?, I dont think so).

Thus is a meme genie born.

>>> 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)
> It's true about my first child.

The one part of the paragraph which *didn't* turn me on had to be the
true part. Buggerit.


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