Re: Performance vs. Mind

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 13:50:30 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Performance vs. Mind"

    At 06:14 AM 16/05/03 -0700, Phil wrote:
    > > I find memes in the mind to be a more intuitive
    > >way of thinking about memes. It's easier to explain to people. It's not
    > >TRUE. But then, no model is true.
    >In science, thinking in terms of black and white is usually not very
    >expedient. If you adopt the entire spectrum of grey colors a whole
    >magnificent world of tolerance and possibility opens up. Models of
    >even the simplest of systems are not true, that's why they are called
    >models to begin with. A model aims at capturing the essentials of the
    >system it is supposed to describe. By the inherently sheer
    >complexity of the system and the inherently sheer lack of computing power
    >and/or skillfulness on the part of the modeler, the model almost per se is
    >but an approximation to the real system. The accuracy of
    >the approximation with respect to the real system at hand (TRUTH content,
    >if you will) depends on the ingenuity and skillfulness of the modeler
    >among other things.
    >So, to recap, indeed while no model really is true in the purely black
    >and white sense some models are more true than others if you
    >are willing to allow all those glorious shades of gray. The
    >trick, or art if you like, relevant in science is to find models
    >that give you maximum amounts of truth content (in the least amount
    >of effort).


    Considering a meme to be the information itself, no matter what media the information resides in, I think is the maximum truth for the least effort. It certainly makes sense in the context of Reed's baseball islands story.

    Then we can go on to discussing how pernicious memes make use of evolved psychological traits to get cult members to amputate their 'nads or worse to fly aircraft into tall buildings.

    Keith Henson

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