Re: virus:"other reality"

Tom Loeber (
Sun, 12 May 1996 13:58:42 -0700 (PDT)

>At 10:16 AM 5/10/96 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:
>>I think I disgree on both points you make in this statement. First, it is
>>possible to write an algorithm which will distinguish an A from other symbols
>>in the environment. The algorithm, however, is not simple. It is an
>>indication of the processing power of a single human brain that it seems easy.
>I'm not trying to say that such an algorithm is impossible. I am saying it
>is very difficult, and one does not yet exist that approaches the capability
>of the human mind with its observational tools. Most people can recognize
>the following from early grade school:
>It is not easy for a computer to do so.
>I take your point, that definition relies on observation, but only in the
>larger sense. That is, the development of our consciousness and our
>world-picture relies on observation. We can't understand the world without
>observation. But once we have a sufficiently complex world view, we can
>build concepts based on previous observations. (We frequently do this: how
>often have you described a movie as a cross between two others? Your
>listener then has an idea about what that movie is like, without having seen
>Therefore, I still say that a definition of an object does not depend on
>observing that _particular_ object. We don't need to define a method of
>observing beliefs in other people in order to have a definition of 'belief.'
>I don't even think I need to be able to observe a 'belief' in myself to know
>what a 'belief' is. Think of predjudices: we all know what they are, but
>are still shocked to discover that we have them, even when they affect our
>outward behavior. Again, a workable definition does not depend on our
>ability or skill of observation.
>My belief in something does not depend upon your observation.
>Besides, Marek and I have reached agreement on a definition that, in
>principle, submits to the possibility of external detection:
> "To believe X is to incorporate X into one's meme-structure
>permanently with corresponding physical change in one's neural structure
>(synaptic complexes in the brain)."
>Dan Henry
Beware the jabberwock! Is this a discussion about finding religion that is
consistent with science and subject to clarification as knowledge
progresses? A friend of mine is creating a book on a theory of language.
He classifies different terms according to an "Abstraction Level" which he
calls "Ablevs" and has a list of their hierarchy and rank for different
parts of speech. As far as I can tell the logical interpretation of the
discussion here shows great ambiguity and little practicality as the
abstraction levels are, to say the least, confused. In my understanding
there is only one language that reaches past ambiguity and dichotomy and
that is algebraic expressions of descriptive statistics. Every generation
seems to want to proclaim that they have the answer to worldly problems in
some kind of new concept of the "meaning of meaning" or the word of some
reverred teacher. I don't think memes are the answer. Looks to me like
they have lead to a lot of trivia here. This is to be expected. As the
head of Eugene, Oregon's psychology dept. stated (I paraphrase) "the largest
and fastest accumulating mass of the information explosion is trivia and

I offered a torus as a general cosmological model. This is a meme that can
be described by an equation. I only got one response by a person who didn't
know what a torus is. You can draw up graphed relationships that represent
the cosmological models of past and present attempts at religion using a
markov decision process model. As far as I can tell they all are quite
linear and specifically nondynamic, i.e. they have a beginning and an end
for the different states of possible existence. They fall far from adhering
to the dynamic nature of the universe that science has brought us to
understand, at least those of us who appreciate and continue to attempt to
gain a grasp of general scientific knowledge.

Seems to me my state of transhumanism has progressed to the extent that I
find all this talk of memes to be, practically, the babbling nonsense of
well meaning but misinformed sub-transhumans. Hey, I can use some help with
rescuing this biosphere and the limitless potential that exists here.
Anybody else want to step out of the mundane and get on with the work that
is needed? There's only so much time to resolve the Fermi paradox in the
positive for ourselves. What might be the last words of the last human
survivor? How about "To believe X is to incorporate X into one's
meme-structure." Good luck all.