virus: Re: Three types of "being"

Brett Lane Robertson (
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 22:49:52 -0500

[Anonymous] here...
>Another place to start, I believe, is in attempting understand the origin
>of sexual reproduction. Clearly there had to be an advantage to this, but
>how did it come to pass? From the viewpoint of cells, it's clear that
>cells go to great length to prevent foreigners from invading them, building
>cell walls as they do. Hence, a potential sexual partner has to overcome
>quite a bit just to have a chance to have an effect. When I was thinking
>of these things many moons ago, I concluded that in order for sex to get
>started in a population, potentially helpful events would have to occur
>while affected members of the population are in a systematically weakened
>condition. In other words, near death. Thus, I see sex as the way that
>organisms evolved to overcome death. There was an infusion of new order to
>what otherwise was a decaying organism. Viewed from this hypothesis, decay
>would begin only during or following the reproductive years, but would not
>be of an accelerated kind unless there was no need for death to be
>inhibited. In mammals, then, decay might not be noticeable until
>reproductive success (as measured by offspring's success at reaching
>reproductive years) was insured.

>Best (from listhink)


At some point between the biological and the purely "informational" falls
the reproduction of ideas. Within this area it could be argued that as
ideas either become too in-efficient (non-cohesive, as above) and/or that
they turn against themself* such that they undergo a process which refines
them into a kernel of truth...what remains surrounding this consolidation,
after this process, is the supportive context within which these ideas
might again sprout...using a "fruit" and "seed" metaphor here. It is the
supportive context, or fruits, of these ideas which are attractive to other
sprouting ideas. In the process of utilizing the fruits other people's
thoughts, the seeds of their thinking (their Idea), is planted within a
different environment. This understanding of the reproduction of ideas is
exemplified by genetics and Darwinian theory.

Memetics sees a "replication" of ideas. The process which causes
in-efficient ideas to turn against themselves or to produce waste
(attracting competitive scavengers and allowing for chance recombination)
can be said to be the same process which causes a non-dichotomous
(androgynous) "thoughtform" to bud and bloom (often to self-pollinate).

This second case argues against the "weakened condition" posited by well as being an exception to the argument that I note below
as to information not being "self-referential". That is, I think that
"information" is continuous and thereby potentially inefficient; but,
processes are self-referential and therefore may intercede between two
streams of information in an interpretive capacity having symbolic
significance and lending efficiency to them (so, in the case of
abstractions--or anything which is self-referential--non-contradiction is a
non-possibility)**. Though again I state that there is a difference between
things which are self-referential and those which are self-consistent...the
first forms a "symbol" which conveys a content (a gene), and the second
forms a pattern which can be entirely contextual and without content (a

*I disagree that information can be self-referential, this seems to violate
(on one level) the idea of non-contradiction (though see next)

**I see this possibility as being either "non-contradictory" as in "true" or
("non-contradictory") mutually exclusive as in "without meaning"

***though for my memetic peers I might say that a "meme" is starting to look
like none-other than the virus which has been developmentally successful (in
the sense of being taken over as a process utilized by the host in such a
way that it is no longer competitive to the host)



O'Toole's commentary on Murphy's Law:
"Murphy was an optimist."