Re: virus: Original Thoughts

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:38:29 -0500

Chitren Nursinghdass wrote:
> 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.

Structuralism! You /do/ beleive in an inherent structure to the
universe. More power to you! I don't think this gets you out of the
"Original Ideas" deal, though. Just becuase the /potential/ for an idea
exists, just becuase the /structure/ for the science meme to model
exists does /not/ mean that when Newton (or whoever) "discovers" it, it
is not an Original Thought. Nobody had ever thought of it before. A
potential idea is not an idea!

> >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

This is like the programming joke that says "All programs contain at
least one line which could be be removed. All programs also contain at
least one bug. It therefore stands to reason that all programs can be
reduced to a one line bug!"

> 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.

I for one usually have to read your posts a dozen times in order to make
any sense of them. The others have the critism of my argument from
design stated much better: "evolution!"

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

Entropy -- the decrease in order in the universe -- is *always*
true[1]. To acheive our local increases in order, we have to /decrease/
the order elsewhere. That's what life is all about.

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

It's lines like this that I /never/ understand. Explain please!


[1] Hmmm. A universal truth? Help me out of this thought-prison!