Re: Measuring Memes - dichotomies abound

Chris Lofting (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 01:42:29 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Measuring Memes - dichotomies abound
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 01:42:29 +1000

Hi Tim..

>Do we really have any evidence that the mechanisms involved in the
>transmission of cultural traits bares a similarity to that of biological

I think so. In reviewing how the neurology processes information one finds
that there are processing patterns at the brain-mind level that are 'the
same' as the patterns we find at the RNA-DNA level.

This said, it is likely that this observation results from the method of
analysis creating the same 'meanings' by making distinctions of objects and
relationships regardless of scale.

That said, if we have adapted to our environment by internalising (copying)
methods of data processing from 'out there', then the method applied is
valid, we are looking at complexity at work; same patterns at all scales but
allowing for 'novel' forms to develop at higher levels due to the increasing
stability of the context, and this would include Mark's cultural

The object/relationships distinctions have 'semantic rules' in that there
are emotional patterns that the species shares (as we do with other species
that utilise neurological methods similar to what we do). The rules 'mean'
that the experience of 'an object' is the same for all of us but the
determination of what is an object is localised and so there will be
differences. Psychology research has demonstrated that intent determines
what we see, if you go looking for objects you will find them in places
where others only see relationships.

These distinctions reveal the object/relationship patterns at work where the
gene is the object and the relationships with environment determine
expression and this includes intent, how I will 'relate' to 'out there'.

There seems to be a fundamental 'fractal' at work based on the distinction
of object-relationship; regardless of scale we see the same form at all
levels and when we apply feedback through recursion so the full range of
'expressions' emerge from the middle of this fundamental dichotomy. The
fractal nature is in the type of dichotomy in that it is 'in the middle' of
1:1 and 1:2 where 1:2 implies object-to-object(s) as does 1:1 but
relationships are 'inbetween' objects, as are fractals 'inbetween'

Our methods of analysis are naturally sourced in the making of dichotomies,
1:1, 1:many etc and the recursive application of these dichotomies leads to
the emergence of a continuum of possible states where one is particularised,
determined to be 'the' current state. These states are not 'out there' but
also 'in here', they form a wave equation of probabilities (this is what we
use in quantum mechanics) and allow us to prempt situations where
'resonance' can create a 'vibe'

These characteristics (and there are more) are fundamental to ANY
dichotomisation process and this includes the tRNA/DNA dichotomy; you will
get the same general patterns at that level as we do at the level of
left-brain (object bias)/right-brain (relationships bias).

We can in fact step outside of 'in here' and seem to see the same recursive
dichotomisation processes operating in fundamental physics where we find the
empirically derived distinction of fermions (objects) and bosons
(relationships) in that fermions use bosons to communicate -- they fill the
space 'inbetween' fermions) From these interactions we also have
'objects'(fermions) emerging from 'the middle', from bosons, as well as
collapsing back into 'bosons'.

This is carried forward into chemistry where the valance shell, the shell
that 'makes' chemistry seems to operate dichotomously but at the 'many'
level of 1 to 8 electrons (minimum/maximum dichotomy). The point of highest
diversity is 'in the middle' of this range (4-5 electrons) and there we find
Carbon and Silicon, good elements for developing 'life' (and so more
'emergence from the middle').

Semantically, when we 'look' at tRNA and DNA we notice that the tRNA
sequence is a 'whole' gene, a feeling of 'object' is created, and the gene
has been put together by performing a cut'n'paste of bits from DNA,
interpretable as a collection of relationships, harmonics that make-up the

(An Aside: Reverse Transcriptase could have been the instigator for the
creation of DNA from tRNA where the emphasis on a 'gene', as we see in
bacteria coding, gave way to the storing of relationships since this would
favour a higher degree of diversity, thus a basic gene is cut-up into
relational units that can then be shared around -- very efficient. This
gives you a duality in that a stored relationship could be a 'gene' (whole)
at one level and a part (relationship) at the other).

When we 'jump' back 'in here' to the brain-mind we see an object-biased left
hemisphere and a relationships biased right hemisphere; same patterns as the
tRNA/DNA but different scale.

Drop-down to the neuron and we see the same patterns -- the axon pulse (and
recovery time) favours discrete data processing (and so the concept of
'objects') and the sensory data flowing into dendrites favours continuous
data processing (even if pulsed, seen in the context of the 'next level'
they are 'continuous') where exageration (+ and -) of relationships are

In the context of development of information processing, the generalisation
of a successful methodology at the particular level would be likely, and
complexity principles allows for 'novelties' to emerge at higher levels, and
some to dissapear at lower levels to give us what we see.

Memes can emerge from the 'middle' but have a 'novel' form in that they have
wave characteristics and so can come in the form of superpositions, multiple
memes sharing the same space. These superpositions reflect the
characteristics of refined emotions where they to, reflecting value
concepts, come in complex waveforms that enable 'resonance' (which, as I
discussed in a previous post, can cause 'problems' in that information can
'sneak' when not wanted).

>And I wonder, at this stage in the game is it more useful to hypothesize
>about mechanisms or about the effects of those mechanisms? In other words,
>does it do any good to concentrate on pinpointing the memetic "DNA" when we
>have yet to precisely describe WHY a cultural unit even NEEDS TO HAVE a
>genotype/phenotype-esque dichotomy?

you wont be able to since the method of analysis will force you to
dichotomise and so the same patterns will emerge but with different labels.

Occams Razor says 'keep it simple' and nature seems to have done just that.



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