Re: virus: Taking Over the World (was: Sign Off)

Brett Lane Robertson (
Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:41:09 -0500

At 02:59 PM 10/23/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Brett wrote:
>> "Wahtever accelerates memetic evolution", though, is a
>>very broad description. ".
>What I mean is, whatever accelerates the rate at which useful theories can
>be generated and put into action.
>>..[T]hat a new world government might be useful
>>to redistribute wealth" seems only slightly memetic--I think D.H. is just
>>preaching his <your message here>.
>Preaching? It's just a theory which seems to follow from the memetic
>>So, yes, a memetic version of complexity might be different from
>>"laissez-faire competition"; in fact, it could be an elitist
>>monopoly--distributing powerful memesets through non-resistent hosts--the
>So, you suggest that increasing memetic complexity could result in a
>feudalistic state of informed elites controlling the uninformed masses.
>Isn't feudalism a decrease in complexity?
>>Memetic evolution would most likely be progressed greatly by acceptance of
>>context, or issues, and non-acceptance of content, or special
>>interest...that is, a memeset of issues with few memes representing
>>interest would quicken the formation of new memes which would replace the
>I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you give an example of
>context/issues and content/special interest?
>>This might translate into <D.H.'s message here>, a new government which
>>would involve grassroots efforts to make themselves known on a large scale
>>through dissimination of information. From a top-down perspective (and
>>someone who takes an obviously dim view of top-down politics, D.H. tends
>>use this perspective quite alot)...from a top-down perspective, this would
>>involve the established elite to redistribute information on a grand
>>scale...or opportunity, or flexability...
> While some memetic vectors are more powerful than others, I think that
>memes spread more through a grass roots bottom-up process than through an
>elitist top-down process. Do you just accept that there will inevitably be
>this class division between the haves and havenots (memetic elites and
>memetic masses)?
>--David R.


I assume that the meme, being specialized, will produce an effect of
dividing successful evolutionary traits from unsuccessful...that there is
THIS division between haves and havenots.

Concerning complexity and feudalism: Complexity is complicated in that it
does not refer to more complex so much as more consistent and efficient;
that is, it is a patterned arrangement which represents more interests in a
simplified form--in this way the form is "complex" being simple yet
comprehensive (like Newtonian physics is complexified by the formula
E=MC^2). So, I am not compairing levels of complexity in the usual sense
but am comparing traits--which are represented at the memetic level in
more-or-less equal levels of complexity, that is they are represented as the
most simple example of their respective behavior patterns. I was suggesting
that a Feudalistic government was a worse case scenario but that it also
takes into account the premise--that is, it *could* represent memetic
complexity in one sense.

As to context and content, I gave the example of dissimination of
information (the "context of information" without respect to special
interest groups (without respect to "content"). Another example of
complexity at the level of government which focuses on issues instead of
special interest would be changing the *form* of the governmental
structure--from division of church and state to a church-state, without
regard to specific legal interests. (Note this is not a specific suggestion,
just an example of how complexity at the level of government might encourage
new meme production). And to follow up on this idea...I don't give a damn
about redistribution of the wealth or grassroots support or have's and
havenots as you are using them since your use is a fine example of focusing
on issues rather than context (and thereby my comment that you are "preaching").


Rabble Sonnet Retort
This line from Shakespeare has delusions of grandeur.

Douglas R Hofstadter