Re: virus: Original Thoughts

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:37:56 -0500

Hi all;

Original Thoughts. This issue has obviously pointed out that I have a
few unresolved conflicting meme's in my head. I am *still* sure that
Original Thougths exist, but it's obvious that my argument from design
fails in the same way as the "God" version does. Humrp. I thought I
had gotten around that little failing, but I see now the problem is in
the last line:
> Since they exist now, the only logical conclusion is
> that they were formed from nothing, thus Orginal Thoughts. What say
> you?

Obviously, the only logical conclusion is *not* that they were formed
from nothing. Even in a prehuman state, we have to admit that
*pre*meme's existed. I having a little difficulty with this, but maybe
I'll just read Tim's post again:

Prof Tim wrote:
> Try this on for size: /Sometime/ back there there were no humans, now
> there are humans. Where did they come from? There must have been a
> couple Original Humans. Adam and Eve. Who made `em? Therefore since
> there are humans now and there weren't in the past, God must exists.
> I'd say, historic linguistic memes came from pre-historic linguistic memes,
> that came from partially or entirely non-linguistic memes, which came from
> observed behaviors, which came from reflex responses, which came from
> early neural networks, which came from... (See how far this is going to
> have to go before you reach /original/?)
> If you want, the Big Bang was the first and only Original Thought. ("Let
> there be light! And there was.")

hmmm. evolution of memes. This entire debate is /so similar/ to the
origin of life that it's unbelievable! Why didn't somebody mention
EVOLUTION earlier?

You are all right, this way of approaching Original Meme's fails.

But I'm not willing to admit that *totally novel* meme's do not occur.
No fallicy of ignorance here. From a historical perspective, it's
obvious that some ideas do come out of nothing. I mentioned one last
time, and it got ignored. I could dig up another, but really I want a
logical /proof/. Mabye I'll be impossible, like trying to prove an
omnipotent omnipresent omnibenevolent God exists. Mabye not.


I change my mind. Totally Original Thoughts are not necessary. As long
as it's clear that the combination of two old meme's into a third in
fact *adds* some novility to the meme-sets, then I do not see a need for
Original Thoughts. A 10 tim increase applied about 7 or 8 times
(compound interest!) to a group of memes would, for all practical
purposes, mean a totally new meme had been "discovered". It's
interesting to note that this evolution of meme's could occur inside one
persons head in /very/ little time. I see some genius catching a little
idea, and merging it with another: "hmmm. That would mean... which
means THAT... which MEANS THAT! Eureka!" So while the "new" idea
isn't /really/ new, in that it did come from some old ideas, it's still
so new that nobody around knows about it. (of course, this also helps
to explain why somethings things are co-discovered. The precursor memes
exist, and it's only a matter of making just the right connections
between them to get your "new" truth)

Does this mean that progress/retreat (ie a changing of ideas, not
necessairly good) is inevidable? Or that the universe is
deterministic? NO, but it does bring us closer to the pits of dispair.