Re: Aaron Lynch?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 25 Mar 2005 - 03:20:45 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Kate's book/ "recessive memes""

    At 06:25 PM 24/03/05 -0500, you wrote:

    >Half an hour after making this post, I posted about Kate's book. When I
    >didn't see it in a day I sent it again. Failed to post both times.
    >Not a clue as to why. It wasn't anywhere close to the line count limit.
    >Will try again

    Didn't work. Kate, did you get a copy?

    Here it is again in case there was something wrong with the headers. cc to Bruce Edmonds

    >Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 22:05:58 -0500
    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: New Memes Book
    >At 02:48 PM 22/03/05 +0000, Kate wrote:
    > >As a more direct reply to you: essentially I believe that the idea of
    > which the
    > >blueprint is a representation can also be represented mentally.
    > >The same information can be carried in pen-and-paper and also in a brain.
    >Kate, you are most of the way there to how I understand memes.
    >The most consistent way to view memes--and for that mater genes and
    >computer viruses--is that all of them are *information.* Genes only have
    >real word effects in cells, computer viruses in computers, and memes in
    >human brains.
    >A meme certainly does not have behavior modifying effect while it is on
    >paper. It must be loaded into a human brain. Same with computer viruses
    >on a floppy or printed out. And a gene written out as a list of base
    >pairs on paper is also inactive as a gene.
    >But a listing of a computer virus can certainly be scanned off the paper,
    >uploaded into a computer and have real world consequences.
    >The same is true of a gene. It can be scanned into a computer, the
    >information used to make copies of it in a gene synthesizer, and injected
    >into a cell where it will affect the behavior of the cell.
    >Human brains come equipped with their own scanning and uploading
    >attachments. So it is easy to pick up memes from paper, or other humans,
    >or TV or . . . . .
    >But it's still a meme, or a gene or a computer virus if it is on paper,
    >magnetic media, etched in stone, etc.
    >Memes are characterized other ways, replicating information, elements of
    >culture, etc, but the at the root they are information. If you want to
    >know how information is hooked into physics, start here,
    >or just take my word that it is. (Information theory is a major element
    >of my field, electrical engineering.)
    >One point is that information must be encoded in matter (counting photons
    >in transit as "matter").
    >Best wishes,
    >Keith Henson
    >(PS I have your book on order, will comment when I get a chance to read it.)

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