Re: virus: Belief and Knowledge (was: The truth about faith)

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 09 Jul 1997 23:28:51 -0500

Peter Charlot wrote:

> I beieve that memes are very much a part of our brain and that they
> are most insistent about taking over the whole operation, being
> rather rude little beasties. I don't think they are
> liberating at all. They are limiting. Their function is to
> limit knowledge so that the the organism (or themselves if you
> prefer) can function successfully within potentially overwhelming
> sensory input.

This appears "similar" to what I said... I said that meme's provide
"meaning" for our lives. If you wish to view that as an artificial
limiting of the scope of our lives (that is, concentrating on some
specific aspect of life, rather than trying to take it all in) be my
guest. I just prefer positive outlooks, rather than negative ones.

> She seems to have developed an idea that Doyne Farmer, a founder
> of Chaos theory, once considered, "On a philosophical level, it
> [chaos] struck me as an operational way to define free will, in a
> way that allowed you to reconcile free will with determinism.
> The system is deterministic, but you can't say what it's going
> to do next. At the same time, I'd always felt that the important
> problems out there in the world had to do with the creation of
> organization, in life or intelligence. But how did you study that?"

Indeed! How do we study choas?

> One of the premises of Chaos theory is that simple operations require
> complex foundations. Conversely, complex operations require simple
> foundations. In this regard the operation of, let's say, the hand,
> requires more complexity to produce than the mind. The mind, being the
> most complex system we know, would require the simplest of rules to
> produce. The simplest rules I can conceive of are systems of individually
> competing algorithms that are produced from sensory input - memetic
> algorithms in chaos.

more complex systems require simpler foundations. hmmm.

add meme to "religion" memes


simplicity. Like the basic ideas behind "axioms" and "archtypes", more
religions can themselves be reduced to just a few basic memes. Sure,
like in logic, enormous systems can be built on top of the axioms, but
understand the axioms and you can *rederive* the results again.

And so, when I say that "my" Church of Freethought will be based on only
one meme, "FREEDOM!", I'm not limiting it in anyway, but rather making
it *more* complicated!


> What say you?
> Peter