From: Kate Distin (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 26 Mar 2005 - 11:13:12 GMT
Keith Henson wrote:
> 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
> 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 x.
> 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.)
Keith - I got a copy of this timed 23.27 on the 24th.
I think I agree with everything you say. It certainly seems consistent
with my view of memes.
I look forward to your comments on the book.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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