Re: virus:Other Reality

Bill Godby (
Thu, 09 May 1996 00:03:21 -0400

At 07:44 PM 5/8/96 -0600, David McFadzean wrote:

>I think I agree with Bill Godby in that many important things are not observed.
>But maybe you are saying that they don't really "exist", then. Do the rules
>of logic exist?
>Some things are inferred, not from direct observation, but from their indirect
>effects. Mendel wrote about genes 50 years before anyone tied them to DNA
>sequences. Perhaps the same is true for memes. We spend a lot of time talking
>about them as if they exist, but no-one knows what they "really" are on a
>physical level. Do memes exist?
Yes and no. Again we are dealing with language. Lets consider the defintion
posted by meme genious:
As Brodie pointed out in VIRUS OF THE MIND, Dawkins later changed his mind
about that definition and came up with something closest to Brdies's, which I
like (p. 32):

"A MEME is a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events
such that more copies of itself get created in other minds."

I think that the problem is the way we approach the defintion. We tend to
think of something that we can put our hands on- touch, see, describe,
quantify. Now if we think of language, which is the transmitter of memes, I
think we are getting somewhere. Language consists of signs and symbols which
have meaning and which we can quantify. The problem I suppose is when you go
looking for memes in someone's brain. Where is that bugger? Oh, I need the
mememeter to find them. You won't find memes, you won't find anything but a
bunch of electrical activity, just as when you go looking for the music
coming out of your cd player, where is it? With out going on and on, what we
need to consider is how *we* give meaning and existence to these units of
information. David spoke of this in an earlier post. I can't seem make
myself clear I guess about how the human mind takes in information and uses
it in infinite ways, and it is always subjective, there is no escaping it.
The outer world can never be understood beyond our capabilities of
understanding period, which of course appears to be always in flux. The
notion of the absolute is an ongoing debate that we have hardly scratched
the surface of. Obviously it is a premise of perfection, god, and order, all
of which I don't believe exist. Possibly what we are interpreting absolute
reality in different ways and therefore are having difficulty understanding
each other.

Regarding rules of logic/deduction I believe that they certainly apply and
exist but they are limited. It is possible to have logical proofs that are
not possible in reality, so just because it's logical doesn't mean it's
possible. The rules themselves are fine, it's the application that can be a
Bill Godby