Re: Structures, memes, systems, etc.

Ton Maas (
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:21:50 +0100

Message-Id: <v03102802b120b59e6f73@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:21:50 +0100
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Structures, memes, systems, etc.

Josip wrote:
>Yes, the source code that defines the program of a dynamic system changes
>(mutates) in order to adapt the program to that particular "computer" or
>even to change the program itself. Where does it happen - Inside or outside
>of the system? What is the meme in this example - The source code or the

May I point out here that from the perspective of a living organism we
really can't separate the "software" from the "hardware" (whereas they can
be conveniently distinguished in man-made digital computers). In the domain
of natural systems "software" and "hardware" are merely different modes or
levels of describing a unified process which is _both_ material and mental.

>The structure itself contains no information, or better, contains
>information only for a system able to decode the received structure
>(pattern). That=EDs why I say that there are no memes or information outsid=
>of a system. Unfortunately, there are only delivered structures (signals,
>patterns) on which the creator system have no more influence. What
>information, or what particular meme would another system extract
>(recognize) from these structures is out of creator=EDs control.

How well put! Hence Bateson's definition of information as "the difference
which makes a difference".

>I understand that memes are digital entities,

I don't understand what makes you say this. I can see that it is possible
for memes to be "carried" by digital entities (although this is not
necessary by any means), but why identify memes with digital code?


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