Heterodyning and Resultants.

Robert G. Grimes (grimes@fcol.com)
Fri, 06 Nov 1998 17:49:49 -0500

Date: Fri, 06 Nov 1998 17:49:49 -0500
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <grimes@fcol.com>
To: memetics list <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
Subject: Heterodyning and Resultants.


Sitting here watching the pros and cons, the give and take,
concerning the "nature" of memes or memetics calls to mind
an analogy of sorts that I recently described on another
list using a different perspective and, because of it, makes
me think how careful we should be in this process as the
"resultant" may not be what we intend.... I had written a
response about a discussion relating to using an electronic
analogy and my use of these terms. Someone wrote to me that
they didn't understand a word, hence the following letter
attempting to illustrate my intentions.

Copy of letter text....
Re: Heterodyning and Resultants...

What I was getting at using the above terms was not the
original argument about the electronic circuitry the
original guy was talking about but that the terminology,
because it is not of common usage and is thus rather "vague"

to the lay person, it can be used as an analogy or metaphor
for social interactions that are similar, metaphorically, to

the meaning of the words. That is, when folks hear the
words, they don't have a lot of preconceived ideas about the

meaning nor automatic connotations. As a result, I can use
the words accurately but, since I have to provide the
definition, through the definition I can compare social
functions to the physical functions the words actually

For example, Resultant, refers to the resultant force (and
direction) actually resulting when two or more forces are
applied to a point. If I pull at a force of 4 pounds at an
object and you pull at a force of 3 pounds at the same
object but at 90 degrees opposed to my force, the actual
force on the object will be 5 pounds at 45 degrees between
the two directions. Thus, the resultant force exerted is
more than any one of the two forces applied and in a
different direction by 45 degrees. The social analogy to
this might be two political parties espousing two different
solutions to a social or financial problem using different
social forces and money and, because of the differences in
their political philosophies, they are moving in two
different directions.

Voila, just as with the actual physical forces which can be
measured and plotted, the social forces may result in an
entirely different social action (compared to direction) of
a greater strength (compared to force). So, either party can

say they didn't wish the resultant activity or law, nor want

it in the strength it possessed, but it came about as a
resultant of their forces. Same with people, a couple, for
example. They could each want something separate for a
child, such as schooling or training, and in varying
intensities, ballet school for two years versus horseback
riding for a year. Each is adamant, they cannot "win," and
either they compromise or their resultant inaction results
in the child taking up stock car racing every week for
years. They are afraid the child will get killed when
racing, get bad habits from the folks at the track, learn
that some of the participants are taking speed, etc.,
etc.... Thus, each can say they didn't want the actual
result and that if it had been done their way there would be

no problem. But the actual "resultant" is what really
happened and represents the same mathematical equivalents of

the pounds of pull and direction. Similarly, if one
compares it to "heterodyning" where two or more frequencies
are mixed, say 150 Kilocycles and 200 kilocycles, one will
get out of the mixture, due to the interaction, at least
four separate signals of 150 KCs, 200 KCs, 350 KCs (the sum
of the two others) and 50 KCs (the difference between the
two original frequencies). This is a physical law, just
like the forces acting in different directions, and one will

produce two distinctly different signals that are the
equivalent of the sum and the difference of the original two

signals. Thus, one has by mixing them (technically called
"heterodyning" as they automatically reinforce or subtract
from each other mechanically or electronically, etc.)
produced two entirely new frequencies. In a radio set we
take the signal that the broadcast station sends out, say
550 Kilocycles (the bottom of the AM band) and "mix it"
electronically with a "local oscillator" signal we produce
in the radio which is "geared" to be exactly 455 KCs
different from the incoming signal, whatever that signal
is. Thus we will get, in the example, a 550 KC signal
coming in, mix it with a local oscillator signal of 1005 KCs

and get accordingly, four signals of 550 KCs (the station
broadcast frequency), 455 KCs (the difference), 1005 KCs
(the local oscillator frequency) and 1555 KCs (the sum of
the two signals). In our radio we have a special section
called an Intermediate Frequency Amplifier which is so tuned

that it will pass and amplify only signals of 455 KCs. So
we direct the four signals at the IF amplifier and get out
one single frequency amplified signal of 455 KCs, no matter
what frequency the radio is tuned to because the local
oscillator is tuned to produce that difference and the IF
section will always pass and only pass that one 455 KC
signal. As a result we don't have to have to worry about
trying to maintain signal integrity and efficiency with all
of the multitude of signal broadcast as we will end up
processing only that 455 KC signal with great efficiency.
This is a super heterodyne receiver.

Now, you can see that comparing social activities again, we
have people and ideas, philosophies, that can respond just
like those electronic signals. They are all thinking,
acting, and talking on different "frequencies" (their
idiosyncratic beliefs, actions, etc.) but out of the social
"mix" will be produced those "sums and differences" of
signals (other philosophies and activities) that were not
there originally, were not intended by the people of the
society, but were a physical by product of their interaction

and "mixing" and we again have social actions that are not
what we intended, in strengths that we may be surprised by,
etc., etc.

Thus, my analogy is that the social results are similar and
respond from physically similar "laws" as the vibratory
phenomena or multiple forces in different directions,
whereby we end up getting much more than what we teach,
preach, print, talk about, etc., from the mixing that ends
up in resultants such as blowing up women's abortion
clinics, shooting physicians, killing thousands of Tutsi
tribes people, etc., etc., when none of the individuals
personally intended those "resultants" or "heterodynes" or
their activities. When questioned, each would say, "Why I
didn't want that! I believe in a God of goodness and love!
- or, "Why I didn't want that. I believe in doing unto
others as one would want others to do unto me!"

Hopefully, I have made my point in the comparison of the
physical laws governing behavior of forces, energies, etc.,
including nuclear or quantum modalities (vibratory stuff
again), and their resultant forces and energies and the
actions of individuals, societies, nations, etc., and their
beliefs, actions, laws, and the subsequent results...

Hopefully, this is not a "reach" for you but the obvious
result, again, of forces of different intensities in
different directions coming about into a "resultant force,"
that we neither intended or nor even, perhaps, believe in.

Thus, simple analogies as this, based on natural physical or

scientific laws, can draw obvious parallels with people and
their social interactions...

When composing a subject such as this, using those examples,

one is not immediately rejected for the defensive reasons
would normally encounter, for example, when defending
religious views, political views, or their particular
preference about a new laws governing medications to
minimize pain and nausea for patients receiving

Think about it and I think you will see my point about how
such examples enable one to seriously explain social
phenomena on a scientific basis that is not immediately
rejected defensively by the participants.

of letter...

Now, although I don't posit the existence of "memetic
harmonics or semantic overtones" (nor would I deny them,
either), such resultants do appear from our earnest desires
and attempts to sell our sincere beliefs to others. All of
this is done for the best reasons but I would like to
caution that we can unintentionally divert our energies into
a direction none of us intend and, perhaps, with a resultant
velocity that is difficult to overcome, i.e., think about
those grants and endowments, papers and disciplines....



Bob Grimes

http://members.aol.com/bob5266/ http://www.hotwired.com/members/profile/bobinjax/ http://www.phonefree.com/Scripts/cgiParse.exe?sID=28788 Jacksonville, Florida Bob5266@aol.com robert.grimes@mailexcite.com Bobgrimes@zdnetmail.com

Man is not in control, but the man who knows he is not in control is more in control...

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore....."

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