RE: virus: The One or the Many? (was: META)

Marie L. Foster (
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 12:16:16 -0800

>From the first Robin I have liked your approach to the whole issue. While
I tended to get lost in the idea of compression of pattern or transmission
of pattern... I could not see why it matters if a meme is inside or
outside... But perhaps my fundamental design of things into the known
(man's reality... the world... objective reality... or whatever you want to
call it) and the unknown (god's reality... basically all the questions we
still do not have the answers for) makes the idea of inside and outside
meaningless at the core. Patterns exist. I like the idea.

At 11:18 AM 10/26/97 -0000, you wrote:
>> From: David McFadzean[]
>> At 02:01 PM 10/25/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>> >If all of these people think information must either be in a mind,
>> >or in an external representation, then I guess maybe I do have
>> >something to contribute to memetics, after all. What do you
>> >think, David? (Don't feel you have to respond if you don't see
>> >what I'm getting at.)
>> Are you suggesting that memes, as information patterns, can
>> have an existence independent of minds and external representations?
>Yes! I think Dawkins' first conception of memes was as
>patterns of behaviour. Assuming Richard is right to say
>he, like these other Big Memeticians, now sees them as
>"in the mind", I think that switch must be due to an
>insight into the ultimate inseperability of what goes on
>"in here" from what we do "out there". But if we recall
>that "meme" is just a word, that can be used in any
>way we want, *and* accept the reality of information
>and of patterns, we can eliminate the subjectivity of
>considerations of what's "in the mind", and the dualism
>of saying memes must be either in it or out in the
>world, by seeing that it's all patterns, both of actual
>behaviour in the world at large *and* of potential
>behaviour within the brain (not the mind), and we
>can use "memes" for either behaviour or potential
>behaviour or both -- that's just a matter of convention
>(though it would be convenient to agree on it).
>Hey, remember I said it first! Anyone else who
>claims this one for themselves gets sued! (And
>David can confirm I'm already well into establishing
>a good theoretical basis for this stuff -- though I
>wouldn't expect to get my book published for a year
>or two yet.)
>Hey, David, how secure is the archive?
>Robin the paranoid designer of fine memes
>who has a living to make

Marie L. Foster