From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 25 Mar 2005 - 03:20:45 GMT
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
>Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 22:05:58 -0500
>From: Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>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
>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").
>(PS I have your book on order, will comment when I get a chance to read it.)
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