RE: Ontology (was Meme Conference)

Gatherer, D. (
Mon, 17 May 1999 17:12:30 +0200

Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 17:12:30 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: Ontology (was Meme Conference)
To: "''" <>


However, the construction
of such an autonomously replicating machine might as well be the inadvertent
outcome of some of our scientific actitivities. At that time, those 'texts'
which contain all the information on how to construct such a machine, which
can duplicate the texts, which contain the information to construct such a
machine, which can duplicate the texts, which contain ... (cfr. the cell
(semantic closure)), will be perfectly comparable to present day chromosomal
genes. All the other texts and our activities will soon be overshadowed by
the possibilities of such a self replicator, just like the first cell
overgrew prebiotic protometabolism and filled every corner of Earth as an
exponentially growing cancer.


If I understand you correctly, Mario, this is more or less the same line
that John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary take. For them, evolution only
really acts on digital information and culture is an analogue-intermediate
between two powerful digital systema: genes and computer code.

But, in order for computer code/text to displace genes as the major
replicator, it would have to be more efficient in the same eay that genes
were more efficient than their postulated mineral/Clay/Cairns-Smithian

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