Re: RE[2]: virus: Hosts
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 00:15:12 -0500 (CDT)

On Sun, 13 Oct 1996, KMO prime wrote:

> Take care. -KMO
> On Sun, 13 Oct 1996 13:27:37 +0000 "Hakeeb A. Nandalal"
> <> writes:
> >I read in NewsWeek that one of the top Genetic Engineers
> >working on the Human Genome project teaches Bible classes in his spare
> >
> >time. Can we differentiate between one "type" of brilliance versus
> >another? These men are physics smart but "God meme" stupid?
> The scholars and theologians in most any long-standing religious
> tradition tend to have very different religious beliefs than the laity in
> that same tradition. The "God meme" is often maintained in the minds of
> the laity in conjunction with a memetic allergy to analytic thought.
> This is definitely not true of most religious scholars. To maintain a
> place in the cognitive architecture of minds like those of Augustine,
> Thomas Aquinas, the current Pope, or any number of sharp-thinking
> believers (and we all know at least one person who maintains both complex
> rational thought processes as well as theistic belief) the "God meme"
> must decouple itself from a memetic allergy to rationality.

It can even be coupled as a memetic booster to rationality. I even know
which citations to use from the Book! [Funny, these are NEVER preached in
conventional Protestant churches, denominational or not. These don't
really trip off dramatic emotional overload, just "That's unreasonable."]

> For me, the problem area on which this line of thought treads is one of
> memetic incompatibility. What makes two memes antithetical to one
> another? We all know people who simultaneously hold ideas which are not
> compatible with one another from a logical standpoint. Human brains seem
> quite adroit at sustaining contradictory beliefs. Meme-complexes which
> employ a meme-allergy to reason seem to encourage the host to sustain
> contradictory beliefs. What is it that makes two meme-complexes
> incompatible? Obviously, religious meme complexes and analytic ones like
> the scientific method, both of which color one's perceptions to a
> significant degree, can not only co-exist in the same individual, but
> deeply integrate themselves into the memetic fabric of that individual's
> consciousness.
> On what basis do memes compete with one another? Human brains seem to
> have finite storage capacity, so there would seem to be competition
> between memes for this limited resource, but that would seem to pit all
> memes against each other equally in a memetic free-for-all. That
> doesn't seem to be the case. Some memes facilitate the propagation of
> some memes and hinder the propagation of others, i.e. there seems to be
> some memetic mechanisms which give rise to compatibility/incompatibility
> relationships between memes, but I have no idea what those mechanisms
> are.

Storage capacity is not the problem. I recall, working for a lark, a
ROUGH estimate suggesting that IF the human brain's presumed memory
capacity was fully usable, AND one could generalize research on
storing multiple data items in the same physical space [some 1994
Scientific American, associative memories] THEN:
There's enough memory to store a raw data dump from sensory input
[remember, that Gig/second] for around a trillion years.
[NEITHER of these assumptions is reasonable, even if one believed that
memory was stored physically. I'll believe physical storage of memory
demonstrated when the neuroscientists have a decent description of the
storage mechanism (susceptible to simulation). I'll be fully
convinced when we have full-recording braintapes or instaskill shots.
Uploading? Depends: if the hardware is too freakish, it still may be

The real problem looks like short-term memory. This both restricts the
number of memes allowed at once, and conveniently allows contradictory
memes to exist by not allowing them simultaneous coexistence in
short-term memory.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd