Re: virus: The Meme Machine

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 07:04:58 +0100

In message <>, Dan Plante <> writes
>At 08:38 AM 01/04/99 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>>Yup. Like Dawkins says, I think this is memetics' best shot,
>>by a long way. On the other hand, the fact she's a bit
>>level-2-bound is a minus for me.
>I see that this whole "level" thing has gained some currency
>with some old timers since my last foray. Did the Brodiemeister
>finally spill a useful definition, or did he keep beating you guys
>over the head with it until you did the work for him? ;-)

"Useful" is a subjective judgement. What Richard says about levels is useful to me, obviously not to you (or not in your current mindset).

>> E.g., she sees very clearly
>>that "self" is a memeplex, but doesn't seem to realise that's
>>equally true for consciousness and matter -- she talks about
>>"the physical self" as if that would remain once all memes
>>had been discounted. On the other hand, of course, if she had
>>gotten all that right, there would have been nothing left for
>>me to do! :-)
>A group of information patterns, or memeplex, by itself does not
>constitute a self or an ego, any more than a filled-up hard drive
>sitting alone on a shelf constitutes a computer. Without a motive
>force (emotion/desire), it is inert.

Is your "motive force" akin to "the life force"?

>Even memory and emotion together,
>without intelligence providing the ability to recognise patterns
>(thereby identifying the objects of desire), produce nothing coherent
>enough to term a "self".

What you "term a 'self'" is up to you. Being dogmatic about such stuff is futile.

>Also, the self (or ego) is not simply the sum of these three aspects
>of mind rolled up in a ball; it is a distinct, emergent thing that arises
>out of the dynamically stabilized interaction of the three parts.

Hey, speak for your self, not mine.