Re: virus: Level 3 and more on Autocatalytic sets.

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Thu, 29 May 1997 20:14:55 +0200

At 15:44 28/05/97 -0400, vous avez écrit:
>>Help me out here guys: is this even possible? Can I use a meme without
>>being "infected" by it to a certain extent. Could this in fact be
>>"Level 4" as it were... the ability to use /all/ meme's and be
>>/unaffected/ by any of them?
>I doubt it, but I do think it is possible for someone to *believe*
>something, while recognizing the possibility that it may not be true.

Or even stranger : you don't necessary believe in that something, but
you don't rule it out entirely, you just hold it as a hypothesis
somewhere in memory for later use eventually.

Something like : "could be true, could be untrue but is an existing

BTW, I've thought about something : how two autocatalytic sets can fuse.

Imagine two separate autocatalytic sets (of any size except null).

They could be linked by a single (one-way) meme. However, this wouldn't make
a new autocatalytic set, because there would be no cyclic path (I view
it a graph here).

Hence there should be at least two memes to link the two autocatalytic sets.

Now if you view a meme link as a set of more fundamental, serial logical
memes, you can understand why it is very difficult indeed for someone
to expand his meme set if he/she rejects all apparently contraditory

For example, a new meme link consisting of 3 fundamental memes could
expand an existing meme set; the memes are logically linked thus :


If somebody rejects all memes perceived as untrue, then all three
of these memes separately are rejected.

However, if somebody can accept a partial linking, say he can
enable his set to fuse with fmeme1, then if he doesn't know
about fmeme2 and fmeme3, there is no cylic path in his meme set,
the fmeme is rejected.

Same happens with a partial linking of fmeme3.

fmeme2 is akin to an idea so unexpectedly alien it cannot even be
partially linked by some.

Hence, only somebody who is able to store the fmemes until the
puzzle appears to solve itself can expand his meme set.

Incidentally this reminds me again of paradigm shifts as Thomas Kuhn
described them in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.", which to
be completely honest, I haven't yet read, I only know for having
read extracts and summaries from the net.

What happens is that a scientist is not willing to accept an idea
that apparently is different from his worldview. It is only
when a synthesis of new ideas brings forth a coherent meta-system
that one is willing to change/evolve one's worldview.

Good side : no one has o rediscover everything, a person who synthesizes
information can bring about a paradigmatic shift.

Bad side : huge inertia in scientific circles, hypothetical synthesizer
is usually attacked from everywhere (you are crazy, Albert, and in fact we
all know you were a retard), need ofr a paradigmatic shift whereas we all
know that evolution proceeds in gradual steps (well, "we" who believe in
the Dawkinsy type of evolution, not the Gouldy nor the Eldridgey typey).

BTW, can anybody give me a quick briefing of what the LEVEL descriptions are ?
Who proposed them ? Dawkins ? Somebody on this list ?