Re: virus: Autocatalytic Idea System Examples

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Thu, 29 May 1997 13:19:29 +0200

>Hello. Here's some more memes about autocatalytic things, if anyone's

That brings me to my first post on Virus.
I have read part of Daniel Dennett's "Consciousness Explained",
where he exposes his view of consciousness as a set of memes.

Does it seem sensible to view the whole set of memes as personality ?

Here's another thing : if personality really is an autocatalytic set,
how do you expand your basic meme system ?

Unless you have an ethical principle to keep an open mind and not
reject any hypothesis, you're bound to absorb and agree with only
memes that do not contradict what you already know, meaning you
don't really grow : the autocatalytic system, hasn't produced anything
new, that same meme you agree with could have been reached via your
autocatalytic memetic system.

Which brings me to Robinson's Formal System and Godel's incompleteness

Godel's theorem shows that you need to have some axioms in any system,
because you cannot prove all theorems of the system within the system
itself. You'd need a meta-system for that.

Robinson's FS has been used to make PROLOG, a language much used for
AI systems, an especially for Expert Systems. The basic idea is to
arrive at a new system of propositions (hope I'm not making any mistake
here)but in a reasonable amount of time.

The only way to achieve this is to try to falsify the new system
consisting of the old one and the opposite of the hypothesis you want to

We succeed in out-Godeling Godel's Theorem (not absolutely because his theorem
is correct, but we can do the metasystem transition - see Turchin for that -
and reach a greater autocatalytic meme set) because we can juggle with
apparently contradicting ideas. This is how we progress scientifically as well.
We would not need paradigm shifts for science advancement if all scientists
had an open mind as well.

In fact what we should do is consciously favour memetic variation, selection
does the rest.

Hope it makes sense,
I shall write my ideas more clearly and post the URL later.