Re: virus: RE: Re: Level 3 Minds and Uncertainty

David Leeper (
Tue, 01 Oct 1996 23:08:56 -0500

Kenneth Boyd,

> Try this remap:
> Level 1: replicators based on genes (Example: Humans)
> Level 2: replicators based on memes (Examples: Emotions,
> Knowledge-bases/fields of study)
> Level 3: applying extreme internal selective pressures to the replicators
> based on memes. [This is effectively what the 'one purpose' does.]

This is the best so far. At least it's a definition. Does anyone else agree
with this?

So we wipe out memes that don't serve a use to a "purpose"? "Take out the
garbage." so to speak? How does that compare with this quote from S.J. Gould:

"Similarly, any biological adaptaion also produces a host of structural
by-products, initially irrelevant to the organism's functioning but available
for later co-optation in fashioning novel directions. Much of evolution's
power lies in the flexibility provided by this storehouse of latent
functional potential." - Discover Magazine, October, 1996

Or, to paraphrase Capt. Kirk, "Don't take away my garbage, I need my garbage."
It seems to me that this definition of "Level 3" is in direct opposition to
one of Evolution's most powerful tools.

But, like I said, this is the best of "Level 3" I've seen so far.

David Leeper
Homo Deus  
1 + 1 != 2