Re: virus: Together or Not

Tom Parsons (
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 08:37:34 +1300

At 10:30 PM 11/23/97 -0700, you wrote:
>At 06:00 PM 11/24/97 +1300, Tom Parsons wrote:
>>Just watch the process happen. It is there to be seen in every infant, as
>>its hardware and software develop to the point where the *I* phenomenon
>>(which I doubt is a meme) happens. It is well established that the
>>conceptual distinction between self and environment occurs in stages.
>I read something in "The Myth of Irrationality"
>that would suggest otherwise: namely that feral children don't seem to be
>infected by the "I" meme which suggests that it is learned from other humans.
>>Surely this individual development is similar to the progression to larger
>>and differently-organized brains that occurred during our evolution.
>Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny? That reminds me of an oldie but goodie
>posted to the Virus list, lemme see... exactly two years ago today!
>David McFadzean
>Memetic Engineer
>Church of Virus

Actually, 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' is coming back into vogue now
that the underlying DNA mechanisms are becoming clearer.

I see how "I" could qualify as a meme under some definitions. To me the
habitual reference to a mental self-image, and the reification of that
image, is a more fundamental restructuring of one's entire mental operation
than what I would usually think of as a meme. I like Julian Jaynes' idea
(the Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind) that
self-aware consiousness as we know it is a relatively recent phenomenon,
although I see the transition as a reprogramming rather than his
physiological take on it.

Thanks for the ref to the files, I'll check it out. I *do* have a moldering
copy of "Wolf Children and Feral Man" lurking somewhere around.