Re: virus: Original Thoughts

Eric Boyd (
Sun, 23 Jun 1996 17:59:17 -0500

Tim Rhodes wrote:
> This is a good a point and very close to what I have been mulling on for a
> couple days. I don't think we can gain much from talking about
> "originality" if we also realize the memetic legacy and causality of the
> ideas we recombine.
> However, discussing the "novelty"[1] of new recombinations of ideas seems
> much more fruitful. If only we had a scale whereby we could judge, say,
> <A'> as x% more novel than <A>. Or speak of <D> as being a specific
> recombination of <A> + <B> + <C> resulting in an x% increase in total
> novelty of <D> vs. <A+B+C>.
> Any ideas for a unit of novelty, folks?

The Tim? A unit corresponding to a 1% increase in the novelty of a meme
or meta-meme over it's parent(s). Of course, measuring such an increase
will be difficult, to say the least.[1] It is interesting to note that
even 100 Tim's does not mean a /new/ idea. It just means the idea is
100% more novel than the old one. How, then, do we express the novelity
of a /totally/ new idea (Orginal Thought?) Is that an infinite Tim? Or
does that transend the scale?

[1] I propose a sort of vote style thing... everyone gives their
estimate of how novel the idea is, and we average (or apply any of the
stats tools) to find the Tim rating.