Re: electric meme bombs

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri 18 Oct 2002 - 07:36:44 GMT

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    > > In five minutes I shall sing "London Bridges". Anyone else can make a
    > > similar decision regarding a ditty whose melody and lyrics they know,
    > > that is, whose memetic structure they have internalized.
    > Let me hear it, or it is not a meme.
    > (Besides, is that not 'London Bridge is Falling Down'? I don't know a
    > song called 'London Bridges'. I know a song called 'London' (one of my
    > alltime faves), and 'The Tricks of London' (not on my fave list), both
    > by Steeleye Span. So, not only do you have to sing this song of yours
    > _and_ let me hear it in some way, by realtime or artifactual
    > transmission, but you need to do this because I have no reference
    > whatsoever for this song of yours, and I cannot attempt to replicate a
    > meme I have not seen, and have no reference for. You see the difficulty,
    > I hope. I cannot sing your song- I cannot replicate your meme, because,
    > not only have I not heard it, but I have no idea what it might even
    > sound like. Totally without ground, this meme of yours, which means _you
    > have to perform it_. You have no other choice, and the meme itself will
    > not _be_ until you do.)
    > Besides, you have no idea, really, what that song will actually sound
    > like. Your voice might crack in the second verse. You might forget the
    > words.

    Perfect replication is an abstract myth, at least when humans drive the car of cultural evolution. This goes for behavior as well as mental versions of memes. I'm thinking about my early karate-lessons. No matter how hard I, or we for that matter, tried to emulate the sensei (master) we, if we are honest, could never exactly reproduce his movements. There are always some nuance difference that are to be found everywhere in human meme-replication (good but inherent imperfect fidelity).

    Now things can become excitingly different once AI start to outrace us in their supa-fly souped-up ferrari testa rossa of cultural evolution. With their ultra-reliable electronic circuits they will be in a better position to mimick/copy memes with vanishing input of errors ( (near) perfect inherent fidelity).


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