Re: "minimum separabile" and the memetic code

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun 02 Feb 2003 - 16:27:35 GMT

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        That's true for information encoded in 1s and 0s, but how many bits are in a codon? Information can be passed in units other than bits, as it is in language. Language can be translated into bits, but that is not the primary unit of structure in language. There is no reason why it should be so in memes which are encoded in language. What is the basic unit of transfer in imitation or art? Is a statue, for example, composed of bits? Or an idea? What about facial expressions and body language? Information comes in many forms and can be transmitted in whole units (pictures, actions, tools, etc.,) and many formats.

    It doesn't matter. Just like everything material is made out of atoms, everything informational can be measured in bits. This is fundamental.

    Keith Henson

    The information contained in a statue or painting or much of anything else is not measured in the numbert of atoms it contains. You can't say a big statue contains more information than a small statue. Especially if one is a copy of the other. Or perhaps we should first agree on what you mean by information. I see it as what is being transfered from one human being to another. You may see it as anything that can be analyzed and some information discovered about it. But most of that information would not be memetic because it was not transfered from one mind to another. Of course, if you write a paper about that information, then it would become memetic.



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