Re: From the Moderator of the memetics list: Warning about relevance!

From: Keo Ormsby (
Date: Fri 03 Dec 2004 - 17:36:56 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Wilkins" <> Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 9:50 PM

    > a metametametatheory of mind.

    > On 03/12/2004, at 10:17 AM, Chris Taylor wrote:
    > > What do you call the theory that someone can have a theory
    about your
    > > theory of mind?
    > --
    > Dr John S Wilkins
    > Head, Communication Services
    > The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
    > Parkville, Victoria, Australia

    The reason we and up with metametameta ... ad nausea theories, is not because there are many levels of analysis, but because there are several systems working together. Consider the three body problem: If you have a planet with a moon revolving around it, calculating the gravitational forces between them at any time, is a pretty straightforward Newtonian calculation. However, if the moon has itself a moon, the problem becomes almost intractable. Each infinitesimal movement of one of the three causes a different change in momentum in the other two, which affects the momentum of each other of these two, which affects the momentum pf the original body, which affects the other two.... etc. So it may look as an increasing level of complexity, but it is really an infinite iterative calculation (there are other ways of solving this). So in the case of this list, the only way we can explain memetic phenomena is using memes, which in turn interact with the object of study, and so on and so forth. If we could have a truly metatheoretical analysis of memes, it would have to be made up of something different than memes. Still waiting.

    Best wishes,

    Keo Ormsby

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