Re: A brand new replicator in the making?

From: Aaron Agassi (
Date: Fri Jun 15 2001 - 15:12:47 BST

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    From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
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    Subject: Re: A brand new replicator in the making?
    Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 10:12:47 -0400
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 9:51 AM
    Subject: A brand new replicator in the making?

    > Has anybody from this group already ponder the question:
    > Is there a new, third, kind of replicator in the making?
    > Well, I contend it will be one with an electronic origin.
    > The new replicator will emerge as soon as the new generation of computers
    > - based on neural networks - gain sufficient grounds to start spawning
    > their own self-sufficient software-programs, the primary goal of
    > intelligence as far as I know. Unlike memes and genes which are only
    > approximately independent of each other (I like to call this,
    > quasi-independent), this replicator will have a truly independent
    > Analogous to the meme's eye view of memes `struggling' with fellow memes
    > to be adopted by brains, in this new breed of replicators
    > auto-generated programs will compete with other programs
    > of similar functionality to acquire residence within computer
    > storage-facilities (`computer-brains').
    > It is not that hard to show that AI programs easily qualify to be
    > replicators. To do this the new replicator must satisfy the basic criteria
    > of Universal Darwinism: heredity, variability and selection.
    > For brevity's sake, I will refer to the third replicator simply
    > as the `thene' to carry the notion of a third replicator and to honour
    > our beloved first replicator, the `gene'. Through the near perfect
    > robust storage facility inherent of computers, thenes satisfy sufficient
    > heredity. Thenes also feature variability as they can easily be modified
    > by the then automated process of reprogramming existing versions of
    > thenes (quite analogous to the formative process of ever more new versions
    > of existing human-programmed software, such as is testified by the sorry
    > series of Windows: 95,98,2000). Selective competitive pressures also come
    > naturally since the number of hosts to accommodate thenes typically are
    > much lower in number than the number of competing thenes. Thenes thus have
    > compete with other memes for adoption.
    > So does AI-technology promise a brand new breed of replicators, or
    > did I make a glaring error in my line of argument?

    The only essential change will be the degree to which thenes will be
    dependant anymore upon humans, for reproduction.

    I would take this opportunity to stress, once again, that Memetics is, after
    all, only a subset of Mimetics. And that all manner of tendency of like to
    make like, in nature, precedes the gene, let alone the meme, however
    inefficiently. And that mims are known to move from one mode of replication
    to another, al be it with considerable mutation.

    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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