RE: Memes are Interactors

Josip Pajk (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 11:42:48

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 11:42:48
From: Josip Pajk <>
Subject: RE: Memes are Interactors

At 15:42 28.04.98 +0200, Zoom wrote:
>Josip, The first time I heard about the "quality--->quantity--->quality" feedback loop was from author Paul Zane Pilzer in his book "Unlimited Wealth" (published 1991).
>One of his examples was about television sets. A family can afford to buy their first TV, and buys a small black and white one. Then they eventually buy a second one for their bedroom (increase quantity). Then they buy their first color TV to replace the first B&W one (increase quality), then after seeing the vast improvements the new color TV has over the B&W one, they eventually replace their second B&W to a color one also (quantity again). Then they improve quality again by getting a larger screen TV, then a second for the bedroom etc.. and this cycle will continue.
>The above is just an example. The same could be said for dress suits (or anything else): I buy my first dress suit at a low price, then when it comes time to buy a second, I will probably increase the quality (I obviously won't lower the quality). The more suits I buy, they will either be of the same or higher quality. If my first suit was bought at a very low price, and I decide to spend some money and buy a custom-tailored suit at Brooks Brothers, after I have bought it, I have raised the standard for myself, and the rest of my suit purchases will be of equal or greater value (quality).
>I don't know if this helps at all.. but those are the examples I have heard/seen/experienced concerning quality-quantity.

Thank you for these examples Zoom. This is much like to what is happening with PC's. The computer you bought two years ago is now obsolete (slow, low on memory) so you are "forced" to buy a new one in order to be able to run any of the new SW packages on the market.
Stanislaw Lem wrote in his book "Summa Technologiae" (III edition, 1974) that the first sign of an imminent dead of some kind of systems (technology) is their growth to such extents that are hard to control efficiently. He gave the examples of the dinosaurs, zeppelins, steam engines. We can see other examples in: the Roman (British) and other empires, or even in the Large Scale Integration technology of transistors.
As I see, quality is the "quantity" of freedom a species (technology) allows for the creation of its particular entities (individuals). If this freedom is greater (but not too much to make the system unstable) its individuals will search for survival solutions in a broader space, so there is a bigger chance that they (and their species itself) will survive. On the other hand, species that do not allow such extents of individual freedom must rely on their quantity in order to survive. Such individuals are more "rigid", they are not flexible and adaptable like those that have more freedom, thus they are more susceptible to environmental changes. Only their great number (quantity) can assure that some of them will survive environmental catastrophes and continue the lineage.


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