virus: What makes memes compete?

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 17:36:58 -0400

From: Robin Faichney <>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 09:34:00 +0100

Lee Daniel Crocker:

>The answer to your question of "can a mind carry competing memes" is
>yes, of course. Memes don't compete--their /expressions/ in the
>real world compete...

Umm, that's not entirely true. Ever heard of "cognitive dissonance"?
It has been shown experimentally that, though conflicting ideas can
be held simultaneously, there will tend to be some intereference
between them, apparently at the unconscious level. If you're
interested, look it up in the index of any introductory psychology

I believe it ought to be possible to reprogram ones brain to hold
two contradictory beliefs without cognitive dissonace by mentally separating
their domains of influence. If that sound's wierd I'd remind you that the most
sophisticated computer in the world is your brain (well, our brains...we pretty
much all get the same model, although sometimes I think I should have bought
that extended warranty on mine) and the most complicated and veratile compliers
aren't the languages "C and C++" but English, Chinese, etc.

Now, exactly what such a capability would be good for I'm not sure at the
moment. But I bet in a week we could come up with all kind of things that
mental-multitasking might be useful for.

In effect one would create two seperate minds or "neural nets" each operating
under a different set of axioms. This separation doesn't have to be physical,
although I think the "split brain" experiments done with epileptics provide a
good basis to build from. In addition, we don't know if the rules of brains
follow the rules of is possible that each of these "separate
minds" might operate at the same efficiency as the prievious one did by using
the same set of neurons in a different pattern. The only limit to mental
processing power known is the current I/O bandwidth of the physical body.

Anybody want a datajack?