Re: virus: Original Thoughts

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 12:59:26 +0200

Hi ERiC,

>Having read your post on Orginal Thoughts, I must say that you must not
>have read mine. Sure the meme's we have now are possibly evolved from
>the meme's in the past. I could argue against that too, but there is an
>easier way to prove Orginal Thoughts: My point is that /sometime/ back
>there, there /had/ to be orginal memes. Simply because, at some point,
>humans /did not/ exist. And thus their meme's did not exist. Since
>they exist now, the only logical conclusion is that they were formed
>from nothing, thus Orginal Thoughts. What say you?

Still a question of terms again. I'd say that what we call memes
are in fact wordy instantiations (does that word exist ?) of more
generic information structures.

Structured information is poised at the edge of chaos and can complexify with
time. But there are fundamentals arrangements that enable information
structures to exist in space and through time (i.e. to have spatio-
temporal stability).

I think that what you call original memes are the wordy (spoken or just
written or just depicted) objects of generic/general classes of processes.

A symbol can represent many apparently different things. I think there
are symbols for objects as well as symbols for processes. Or you might
say Archetypes. I try to find procedural archetypes in things. In this way
you can find many common sub-processes everywhere.

One of these is what I call the variation-selection archetype. I haven't
invented it, neither did Darwin but it is a generic process, of which
we can find (observable) examples in nature.

>Chitren Nursinghdass wrote:
>> I see it thus : all ideas are potentially contained in more compact
>> memes. There are fundamental memes (or math axioms) which can be expanded
>> using functions or ways of combinations. From them stem other memes
>> or combo-memes
>In your language, where do the /axioms/ themselves come from?

"From a prime axiom" is the only way to see it logically. Or you could
say as well, from the geometry of the universe. Another generic process
I like to think about is crystalline growth. This coupled with the
variation-selection process can make an ulterior non-crystalline growth
(or a more complex life cycle).

I don't know if I'm clear - often I take for granted that other people
have the same worldview as I, which is not true.

>> Did Darwin INVENT natural selection or did he bring the knowledge
>> of it to our eyes ?
>What? This is, of course, a completely different question. If you want
>to argue that memes exist before somebody thinks of them, by all means.
>Just don't expect anybody to listen. Remember: the meme's orginal
>/habitat/ is our minds. Some of them spread outward from there and
>into, say, books, but they can only /live/ in minds. They just get
>/stored/ in books. It thus stands to reason that before minds means
>before meme's.

What you say is correct, so long as you talk of memes as instances
of more generic ideas, as symbolic representations of more fundamental

With this definition of memes, of course I cannot say that they preexist :
the definition itself is limiting in this sense.

But let's say I'm not talking about memes but about archetypes.
Yes, definitely the archetypes preexist and we give them names or

And memes are then elaborate expansions and variations on the basic archetypes.

As I said previously, I really believe Richard will live to see the
paradigm shift about memes happen. So it's an exciting time for him,
Moravec and Dawkins.

It will happen very soon after really exhaustive quantifications are
published (like with Wolfram and his Cellular Automata studies).
However the meme paradigm will be much greater.

But I also believe that it's just a transition to a more thorough
understanding of structured information as an opposition to entropy.

Information thrives through crystal, genes, phenotypes
(I like to call these phenes) and memes alike. Work is being done on
this at the SantaFe institute, based on texts by two people, one of
whom is called Bennett. It's called the Physics of Information.

>> A crystal forms from a seed, then grows by addition of elementary
>> parts in an orderly fashion with time. With time, the crystalline
>> shape is found further from the seed. This is a primitive form
>> of replication. A crystal can be shattered.
>Once again, in your terms: where does the orginal /seed/ come from?
>> Clay->molecules->DNA->memes
>hmmm. Are you saying that "General Relativity" was orginally contained
>in some clay? If not, what /are/ you saying?

I did not say that, but it's an interesting question which I'll give more
thought to as soon as I understand GR better.

What I meant was that you have generic processes, albeit with slight
variations because they're important for adaptability.

The seed itself is part of a process. And so on...

It's useful to think of information structures and the processes
which enable them to have spatio-temporal stability and also
evolutivity/adaptability. Put that in relation to Dennett's
classifications of creatures : Popperian, etc... to Gregorian.