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

Dan Plante (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 19:32:39 -0800

At 10:17 AM 3/18/97 GMT, wrote:
>Martz wrote:
>> On Fri, 14 Mar 1997, wrote:
>> >First: What is Hardwired?


>> 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 can
>see this becoming nit-picky and complkicated, so I'll stop right now.
>> >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.
>> I'm not trying to be trite here but
>> I wouldn't know where to begin answering you.
>Don't worry. Why do you think I'm asking questions. I wouldn't
>know where to start.
>> Some small things have
>> huge effects.

Since memetics, as I understand, is defined in functional, rather than
morphological or electrochemical terms, don't you already have your
answer? I mean, wouldn't a "quantum meme", as you put it, simply be
defined as the simplest parts of an associated complex of ideas, thoughts,
images, impressions, etc, that can't themselves be disassociated any
further without losing their ability to reproduce in another host?

One example would be, say, you go to work and during the entire week, every
time you talk with your co-workers, you scratch twice above your right
nostril during any slight pause in your speaking that would correspond
with a comma if it had been written down. Observe them on Monday morning,
and see if anyone has started doing it. If so, that very simple gesture/idea
would be a candidate for a memetic quantum.

The Metasystem Transition History of the "Dan Plante" System:

initial conditions = data (conception)
control of data = information (conception to puberty)
control of information = knowledge (puberty to marriage)
control of knowledge = wisdom (marriage to divorce)