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From: Keith Henson
> At 10:32 AM 15/02/02 -0800, Dace wrote:
> > > You would be much like a computer with the rudiments of an
> > > operating system but nothing more. I don't think it would be much of
> > > an existence.
> >Computers aren't subjects of awareness.
> Mine is. My computer is intently aware in a way that human, or even cat
> watching a mouse hole could not do. I it is aware of every key stroke,
> every mouse movement and every mouse click. Besides that, it is
> watching for communication from the cable modem.
This statement is neither verifiable nor falsifiable. We might attribute
awareness to anything, to a dust molecule. Who's to say the dust isn't
aware of the moment it sticks to a solid surface? We might say that God is
aware of every "key stroke" in your brain, and you'll be paying, later on,
for the ones He doesn't approve of.
> > > I don't understand this conflict business.
> >The conflict arises because, inevitably, some of our memified notions
> >will be pathological. Ideas can't distinguish between right and wrong.
> >Any idea, no matter how ridiculous, can become self-replicating.
> >Though quite powerful, "L. Ron is God" doesn't contribute to the good
> >of the social body. It's a freelance meme, much like a carcinogenic
> >cell. When an alternative social body begins to form around a
> >carcinogenic meme, the result is cult, not culture.
> I think you could state this in terms more adapted to discussion of
> evolution. Genes and memes construct and program human minds.
> Most of the time genes and memes are not at cross purposes, but
> sometimes (as the Shaker meme I have mentioned) they are. Besides
> the "viewpoints" of genes and memes, genes and memes construct
> individuals who have their own viewpoint no matter how much that
> viewpoint may be biased by genes or memes. Sometimes the effects
> of memes is strong enough to override genes and you get cults like the
> Shakers or Scientology.
My formulation is every bit as evolutionary as yours. It just doesn't abide
by the peculiar (though widespread) reductionistic outlook you subscribe to.
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