Re: never wanting to grow up

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 26 May 2003 - 12:14:08 GMT

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    At 05:50 AM 26/05/03 -0400, Ray Higgins wrote:



    > > The main thing is that memes pass from mind to mind under their own power,
    > > whereas ideas pass among us via our conscious power of reason.
    > >
    >Is this belief held by this memetic community at large? Ideas can't be
    >memes and visa versa?


    >The disitinction here seems extremely arbitrary and
    >contrived to propogatte an "Us vs Them" belief structure within the

    Right. "Memes are out to get us!" does however express a certain degree of truth. While the vast majority of memes are either helpful symbiotes or harmless, there are a few that are lethal mental parasites. (Jim Jones, Solar Temple, Heaven's Gate, etc.)

    >And why would the fact that a Meme is true or false have any
    >impact on how it is replicates?

    Because of metamemes such as those active in science. (And almost certainly inference engine filters in brain hardware. We believe a rather restricted range of nonsense.)

    >Only the "Belief" in the truethfullness of a
    >meme will impact its viralents. Many of our most deepest held beleifs about
    >science and reason are essencially subjective memes but we believe them to
    >be true.

    That's true, but science is always tentative even for long held memes. For example, a vast amount of research has determined that the elements are based on whole numbers of electron charges. Thus we would not expect to find an element between carbon and nitrogen any more than we would expect to find another whole number between 6 and 7. But consider what would happen if atoms were found with unbound quarks having charges of plus or minus 1/3 were found? (Fractional charged "elements" might be remarkable useful as catalysts for example.)

    >More disturbing in this post is the implied belief that somehow "it
    >is those awfull lying Memes that supress Our great Ideas from changing the

    As I have recently stated, "meme" is a slightly more restrictive word than idea. You can have an idea without communicating it, but if it is communicated, the idea (information) has replicated making it a meme
    (replicating information).

    >I wonder if anyones got a good Idea on how to counter this Meme.

    Ignore it is one approach.

    Opposing it by clearly stating the mainstream view is another.

    Keith Henson

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