Re: Replicators, was Non Homuncular Memetics

Ton Maas (
Thu, 9 Oct 1997 07:19:30 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102805b0621926fae7@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 07:19:30 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Replicators, was Non Homuncular Memetics

>The warning about isomorphisms between substrate class is intriguing. It
>brings up the issue of 'performance' in regards to 'replication.' We use
>a statistical inference about system performance whenever we talk about
>replication. For example, one copies a computer file from one hard drive
>to another via network cable. At the user level, the 'file' has been
>replicated at the end of the 'copy' operation. Successful 'replication'
>is tested by 'operating' the file. If it works, replication has taken
>place. At the physical level (magnetic coating of hard drive plate), no
>replication has occurred. The 'copy' function makes no attempt to place
>the file in particular harddrive sectors. A physical copy is sometimes
>used for backup requirements, but never for simple file copies. This too
>is judged a success based on system performance under specific test
>Thus, whenever we talk about replication, we are relying upon some sense
>of 'system' definition, and testing technique (circumstance, frequency
>domain and performance standards). Sometimes these are explicit, other
>times, they are left unspoken. I suspect some of the difficulty we face
>here is a lack of consensus upon these sometimes unspoken assumptions.

That's a nice distinction! It "spoke" to me immediately.

>Based on the above, I suspect our assumptions about system definition and
>testing differ considerably.

Me, I'm a bit-copy fanatic. Surrogates just won't do ;-)



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