Information basics 2

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:49:53 +0100

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:49:53 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: Information basics 2

Decided to cut (almost) straight to the chase, and fill in later as and
when questions are asked.

To recap on Info basics 1: information comes in two flavours, subjective
and objective. These are absolute terms, unlike the way in which
descriptions of things are judged relatively subjective or objective.
In absolute terms, all descriptions made and used by people are
subjective, while only the information actually embodied by a physical
thing is objective. All the information with which we deal is
subjective, however closely it might approximate to information that is
actually "out there", in the form of physical reality.

Do memes reside "in the mind"? If so, define that phrase. Are they "in
the brain"? If so, in what form, and how can they be distinguished from
all the other information in there? "In the memory"? In which case, do
all memories qualify, or just some, and which ones? And underlying all
these questions is that of whether memes are subjective or objective.

All cultural information is subjective, and memes are items of
subjective information that replicate. I believe that "subjective
information" covers all the ground that was intended by "in the mind",
"in the brain", and "in the memory", and does so with maximal clarity
and conciseness. I really don't think it can be bettered. Being items
of subjective info, memes are always encoded within objective info, so
the location of instances of them depends on appropriate decryption.
Behaviour and artefacts, as media of transmission, might well be
considered phemotypes, but variation and selection also occur within
individuals, so I suggest that the phemotype is any item of objective
information that encodes a meme.

Questions, please.

Robin Faichney
Visit The Conscious Machine at

=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: