Re: Being a Human Being, Memetics and Complexity Science

Mario Vaneechoutte (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 11:33:13 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 11:33:13 -0700
From: Mario Vaneechoutte <>
Subject: Re: Being a Human Being, Memetics and Complexity Science

Some remarks on some interesting thoughts (second try)

Robin Wood wrote:
> Dear Fellow Human Beings
> I am writing this in the spirit of one who has been trying to
> synthesise cognitive science, complexity science, ontology and
> phenomenology into something practical that we can use to make this
> little old world a better place (and where better to start with those
> global/multinational clients of my firm?)
> What follows are my reflections on the first seminar we ran here in
> London including Dr If Price, Arthur Battram, John Farago, Giles
> Taylor and a few others. I appreciate it is a little unstructured, but
> it should address some of the following issues:
> q Human beings are primarily energy fields patterned around several
> levels of attractor: atomic, molecular, cellular, organ, organ
> systems, hypothalamic limbic, immune, and finally sympathetic and
> parasympathetic nervous systems. Each attractor exerts a powerful
> "pull", but through "co-operation" and co-evolution between the
> different levels we get (more often than not) intelligent life

Instead of using complex theory terminology one could express the same
observations in evolutionary terms, which may better reflect how each
level developed from previous ones.

> q Humans and animals relate to each other in many modes- language
> accounts for somewhere between ten to twenty percent of signals sent
> and received. We can go from feeling each other's "vibes" ( human
> energy fields), to having a shared experience in a multimedia medium
> which does not require any words at all. Sometimes the latter are the
> most profound experience. Even poetry, to move us, needs imaginative
> imagery to stir our souls.
> q We are pattern recognising animals- patterns are, as Alex Brown
> points, ubiquitous and all around us in many shapes and forms.

Yes, we are, but pattern recognition is apparent from the chemistry
level onwards: only certain atoms interact with only certain other
atoms. Enzymes recognize only a specific pattern among a myriad of
possible ones. (The difference with nonbiological chemistry is that
enzymes are processors, which can repeat the same pattern recognition
event). One could say that this is experience, whereby experience is
defined as a pattern recognition event or as the event of pattern
matching (between enzyme and substrate, between object and the stored
images in ones' mind, ...). As such this may provide a theoretical basis
for the suggestion of Chalmers (discussing the 'Hard Problem of
Consciousness') that experience should be some basic characteristic.
Also, it may answer his question why experience seems to be transient -
(something which seems paradoxical for a basic characteristic): only
when conditions for specific pattern matching are fulfilled, there is
experience. As such, the hard problem of consciousness is not specific
to consciousness but is the hard problem of experience in general. (And
since consciousness is an experience ...)

> language is the exception rather than the rule in our day-today
> environment. (Yes, Mario, science needs language- but most of the
> breakthroughs have been done by teams having shared experiences often
> prompted by creative, non-verbal stimuli e.g. the 3d model built by
> Crick and Watson was the point of breakthrough in double helix land-
> Steven Hawking thinks in 3d images in his head). They say a picture is
> worth a thousand words- 3d must be worth 100 000+ words?

The essence of written language is that it provides with mind external
storage of information. Christ had a 3d model of God into his mind, but
is that science? Written language enables thinking of a community on the
ideas of individuals. As such, the result may be more objective by
checking the thousands of subjective 3d models which a human mind can
form. There are many other features of encoded information (whether it
be DNA or printed matter), like the more powerful recombination
possibilities, which enhances evolutionary speed.

Mario Vaneechoutte

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