Re: virus: Checksums for Faithfulness of Memes

Martz (
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 00:21:02 +0100

On Tue, 22 Apr 1997, "Wright, James 7929" <> wrote:
>In information communications, a checksum is a number transmitted along
>with the packet of data which allows verification of the data after the
>process of transmission. Should the result of a numeric computation
>performed on both the data and the checksum not result in a defined
>figure, the receiver sends back a "Message not received correctly" signal
>back to the sender, and the sender re-sends that packet of data again.
>Could we use something similar to ensure that memes transmit more
>faithfully and mutate slower? I'd be really annoyed if the meme I sent
>was "I need a wrench" and the meme my six-year-old received was "I need a
>drench", and he turned a garden hose on me according to his
>understanding! Any suggestions?

It may be possible but I don't think we'll be doing it any day soon.
Error-correcting protocols are very well developed in computing but in
that field they're dealing with well defined, (comparatively) low-
bandwidth signals and even then they only eliminate most errors. Perfect
they ain't.


For my public key, <> with 'Send public key' as subject an automated reply will follow.

No more random quotes.