From: Liane Gabora (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 07 May 2004 - 02:46:20 GMT
No, sorry, you missed my point. I see what you mean that this phenomenon
has something 'self-assembly-like' about it. But it is not a genuine
self-assembly code of the sort that biological systems employ (neither is a
radio signal that 'propagates' itself into lots of radios). The fact that
biological evolution prohibits inheritance of acquired traits is not merely
incidental. It is a deep manifestation of the division of labour in
biological organisms (first recognized by von Neumann) between the
*self-assembly code* which is actively deciphered to build a new replicant, and a *self-description* which is passively copied to the replicant. The paper will clarify this.
At 12:17 7/05/2004 +1000, you wrote:
>On Fri, 7 May 2004 02:22 am, you wrote:
> > Clearly ideas or memes do not consist of, as part of their information
> > content, self-assembly instructions (akin to genetic material), which get
> > carried out to form new copies. If they did, then for one thing,
> > inheritance of acquired characteristics would be prohibited.
>I think I understand what you're driving at, but isn't it perhaps true that
>memes rely on the replication instructions being acted on in the recipient's
>After all, when the highly 'successful' chain mail swept the world (by smail
>: This is no joke. You will receive good luck in the mail. But no money.
>: Send copies to people you think need good luck. Don't send money as fate
>: has no price. Do not keep this message. This message must leave your hands
>: in 96 hrs.
>Instruction 1. Replicate me with-in 96 hrs
>: A United States Air Force Officer received 470,000 Dollars.
>: Another man received 40,000 Dollars and lost it because he broke the chain.
>Instruction 2. You are hereby threatened about the consequences of not
>replicating me ;-)
>: Whereas in the Philippines, Gene Welch lost his wife 51 days after
>: receiving the message. He failed to circulate the message. However, before
>: his death, he received 7,555,000 dollars.
>Instruction 3. Failure to comply is so serious that it will kill you - so
>devote all the resources you can to replicating me
>: Please send twenty copies and see what happen in four days.
>Instruction 4. Make exactly 20 copies of me...
>But I'm sure this is familiar ground, so I wont labor the point.
>I would argue that virus hoax email that implore you to:
>: PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST !!
>are another quite wonderful conmtempory example of this. (I love these bloody
>You are threatened:
>: As soon as the supposed virtual card is opened, the computer freezes so
>: the user has to reboot. When the keys or the reset button are pressed, the
>: virus destroys Sector Zero, thus permanently destroying the hard disk.
>And then given some replication instructions:
>: Please pass this mail to all of your friends. Forward this to everyone in
>: your address book. I'm sure most people, like myself, would rather receive
>: this 25 times than not at all.
>So would you argue that these are special cases of memes that do consist of
>self-assembly instructions, and that most other memes don't, or have I missed
>Unisolve Pty Ltd - Melbourne, Australia
>This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
>For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
<http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/liane>http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/liane Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies, VUB, Brussels Ph:
(32)2.644.26.77 Psychology Department, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-1650 Ph: 510-642-1080
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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