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

Martz (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 21:52:32 +0000

On Tue, 18 Mar 1997, wrote:
>Martz wrote:
>> On Fri, 14 Mar 1997, wrote:
>> >First: What is Hardwired?
>> Hardwired means those connections which cannot be changed. What these
>> are I'll leave to the biologists to explain.
>I know the definition, but /what/, as in things, are hardwired? How
>do we know which things are supposed to happen, and which things are
>meme infections?
>> A muscle as memetic entity?
>No, the instruction that causes it to contract as a meme?

In your previous post you said 'muscle contraction itself is a complex
web of memes'. That's what I was taking issue with.

>If we consider humans
>to be memetic entities, then a muscle is a subdivision of such.

Yes. And? The properties don't necessarily propogate downwards like
that. I'm now looking at a monitor. Does that mean that the power switch
is also a monitor? Or a single atom of glass? If you want to introduce
that sort of inheritance I'm afraid you'll have to justify it.

>> >I'm sure that in each of these processes, there are smaller memes than that,
>> >also. What do you think?
>> There are smaller things but they are not memes. Not by any definition
>> I've come across anyway.
>What are they then? Are /they/ hardwired?

There are interactions between individual molecules. I wouldn't call
those memes for the reason reproduced below.

>> I doubt we can take it down to the level of a single neuron. I would
>> guess that the smallest unit would be the smallest number of neurons
>> whose co-ordinated firing can be said to have 'meaning' to us on a
>> macroscopic scale.
>That's a good start. Question now, is: What has meaning to us?

I don't think we know yet. I think some major advances are required in
the fields of neuroscience, artificial intelligence and psychology
before we'll be able to answer that in anything but a broad-brush

>> >What use is a meme that is so small?
>> What use is a gene that is so small?
>On its own, is it any use? Sorry, this is what I meant.

Possibly not. Just as a single word may be fairly useless, when combined
in a particular way you get a work of art.

>> Some small things have
>> huge effects.

Are you trying to tell me something? (Have I pulled again?)


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