Re: virus: Re: Rationality (meme make-up)

Dave Pape (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 21:39:50 GMT

At 17:05 18/03/97 +0000, Tony wrote:
>In message <>, Dave
>Pape <> writes
>>Into ecologically-related components! The kick I got from James "Gaia"
>>Lovelock came from thinking about /myself/ as an ecology, and about all
>>genes as evolving do to arms-race & symbiotic pressures imposed on them by
>>other genes. Thus, every cell in your body's a bit like an ecosystem of
>>endosymbiotically gathered components, your body itself is a differentiated
>>colony of cells kind of like an ecology, and the biosphere is a massive
>>system of nested and interacting ecologies on all possible scales.
> I can buy this as a fruitfull way of seeing things Dave,
>you have a way with words.

And they're all other people's, man! :)

> I think a lot of poeple have problems with Gaia only
>because of their own time chauvanism. If a galactic timescale
>lifeforce was to examine the earth perhaps they would see a lot
>more functions that would point towards a lifeform (we havent yet
>had time to see a single reproductive cycle yet).

That's definitely got something to do with it... Another big anti-Gaia
argument seems to be that people can't conceive of Gaia "planning ahead",
and Lovelock's at pains to point out that she DOESN'T, she just tries things
out (evolutionarily speaking), and the things that work best, get
propagated. Crazy thing is, William Calvin seems to think that this is how
creative thought functions as well- reproduction of ideas, with mutation and
selection of the ideas that seem to work best. More when I've actually read
the book...

> Yes, I picture our heads full of memes breeding and
>competeing for limited electrical firing of the neuron-complexes
>that are the substrate on which they live. A dormant meme is a
>memory trace which, when active (pulses are firing through it, it
>resonates into electrical activity) represents that meme being
>active in our consciousness. The electrical activity of any single
>meme also excites all memes which are "semantically close". (Martz
>has a great concept of semantic distance which helps in
>communicating these matters.)

I've also heard talk about Hamming Space, which is like a polydimensional
ideospace, where ideas are closer together the more elements they share.
Hey, you know people tend to hang out with people they have a lot in common
with? Well, what they're doing is mapping Hamming Space onto local
geographical space. Kind of. Except they aren't really, I just fired off a
metaphor before I checked it.

Dave Pape
Always bet on the guy with the spine.

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