RE: Machiavellian Memes

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 10:19:24 -0700 (PDT)

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 10:19:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tim Rhodes <>
Subject: RE: Machiavellian Memes
In-Reply-To: <>

On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, N Rose wrote:

> 3) 'self' centered selectionism
> The last theme I want to comment on is the idea that 'we' as
> 'self' determining creatures, with free will, can choose to avoid
> certain memes over others. My position on this one has been
> stated many times before. I do not believe that 'free will'
> exists with which those sorts of decisions could be made. I
> would suggest that the only 'agents' which could select memes are
> the genetic predispositions which arise in the development of the
> brain, and the memetic predispositions which arise as that brain
> becomes enculturated. There is no one else 'home' IMHO. (See my
> interminable whining about this in previous listings)

Sorry, I think I missed the previous whinings. I'm wondering if the
"memetic predispositions which arise as the brain becomes enculturated" is
the key.

If the meme "expose yourself to memes you deem useful according to
criteria X" is a part of that enculturation, it would seem (IMHO) that the
host would select for what were perceived as "useful" memes as a result.
If "criteria X" in part labeled "useful" memes as memes that enabled the
host to better choose which memes were, in fact,... well,... "useful", it
would seem that this bootstrapping process would go on to create a sort of
Meme Selection Review Committee (MSRS) in the host with ever more and more
autonomous powers. At some point this emergent property, the MSRS, might
even take on the look of what we call "consciousness" and its
self-selecting qualities seem like something we could easily label as
"will". The freedom of that will being a function of how far the
bootstrapping process has gone towards developing the MSRS into internally
driven agent (IMHO).

-Tim Rhodes

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