RE: transmission

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Tue 20 May 2003 - 16:01:10 GMT

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    Bill Benzon wrote:

    <<In this second scenario imagine that Jack and Jill never knew one another prior to sitting down on the bus. Whatever it is the arises in Jill's head when she sees the piece of paper was there before she ever met Jack. Nothing has been transferred from Jack's head to Jill's. All that has happened is that Jack has caused Jill to call up something in her mind that corresponds to "apple." It may be more or less "like" what is in Jack's mind. But it has not been transmitted or replicated from one to the other. Those concepts don't tell you what is going on.>>

    Like Joe and Keith, I don't understand the analogy. But what if Jack had said, "Hello, my name is Jack"? Has some information transferred?

    <<Now, what if, instead of "apple," Jack had written "quantum indeterminacy," or "justice" or "meme" on the paper? What's the chance that those words would evoke more or less the same thing in Jill's head that already exists in Jack's? >>

    This last question leads me to believe that you are not talking about the same thing Keith, Joe, and I are talking about when we say mental replicator. Whether or not a similar process is triggered in two minds by the same input is not relevant to replication. What is relevant is if, upon learning some information, Jack is now more likely to behave in a way that makes it possible for Jill or someone else to learn that information. The poison-tomato example Keith gave is a good one, where Jack can teach Jill either by example or by words that tomatoes are OK to eat.

    Richard Brodie

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