Re: virus: Evolution

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 18:59:21 -0800

David Leeper wrote:

>What is "Evolution"?

David, this is one of the best questions I have seen here. The Webster
definition brought by Hakeeb shows how bad this language is (Polish is a
bit better, but still no good :-)). I couldn't sleep (much), my wife was
threatening me for a divorce (I did rake the lawn a few minutes ago to
prove that I do something in this house so the divorce is off for some
time) and I did not stop thinking about your question. Here is the result.

I will not define the word itself, as I find definitions are useless (they
are good at school, but not in real life: look at all the funny definitions
of memes, for example). Rather than thinking of a perfect definition it
is much more useful (OK, the USEFUL sucker is in my blood...) to
concentrate on describing what we mean or how we understand a given
phenomenon. In this case the phenomenon of Evolution (I think it deserves
a capital E here).

Evolution consists of 5 components, which I will discuss below using
examples from the following 6 areas:

B = Biology
DB = Dawkins' biomorphs
GA = Genetic Algorithms ("An Introduction On Genetic Algorithms"
by Melanie Mitchell is on its way from; I will use
an example of a sorting algorithm as described in "Artificial
Life" by Steven Levy).
M = Memetics
ES = The education system
MV = Messages on this Virus list

(1) SOUL. The first component of Evolution is a number. Or: information,
or code, or data (the school guys will argue here that data is not the same
as information, I know), or "the universal homologous form a la
Wittengenstein"... For the sole purpose of sexy mnemonics, (you will see my
point later) I decided to name it a Soul.

The Soul can be seen as a number or code (same thing :-)).

Begin Cohesive Math Comment
Cohesive Math numbers are useful here. BTW David, 0/1 code is not a
mere code -- it can always be converted to a decimal number. In fact
your CM numbers are strings of 0's and 1's which you convert to
decimal numbers -- that's why your Simple Numbers are powers of 2.
For example in the "Cohesive Math And The Christian Mass" chapter you
say: "The prayers bring the following transformation:
TransChrist(8 + 2) = 8 + 2 + 1 = 11
You can put it as a binary 1011 (which is decimal 11).
End Cohesive Math Comment

B - The DNA four letter alphabet and it's three element codons. All life
is "numeric". We can assign a number from 0 to 63 to each of the possible
combinations of 3 letter words in a 4 letter alphabet. This way we *are*
just numbers (you have to be Level-3 to accept that sad truth :-))

DB - A number behind each biomorph.

GA - A sequence of code (program instructions).

M - An idea (meme, statement) written in some language. When I think of
it -- it seems the language of memetics does not exist yet -- or the whole
memetics as a branch of science is an illusion. I would like to ask
someone with a Memetic Engineering degree what the equivalent of DNA in
memetics is!

ES - A set of ideas and memorized nonsense (memes) in a student's mind.

MV - The text of each message (as a binary string).

(2) PROCESS. The second component of Evolution is a Process. The number
(Soul) is controlling a process and producing a result.

B - DNA will control development of an organism.

DB - The biomorph "gene" number is controlling the picture it creates.

GA - Program instructions applied to a set of numbers result in
a "more or less" sorted set.

M - Ideas are controlling human (and other "chimps"?) behaviour.
Actions taken are the results.

ES - A student is completing assignments and writing exams (results).

MV - Messages sent by one person are evoking reactions of other members
of the group.

(3) EVALUATION. The third component is the evaluation or the "Judge".
There is someone or something who evaluates the result of the PROCESS. It
is an important and necessary element in Evolution. Who is judging in each
of the following?

B - TT (or Absolute Truth :-) or the laws of Nature). If there was no
Absolute Truth :-) biological evolution wouldn't be possible. The judge
must be consistent in judging otherwise there is nothing but chaos.

DB - A person playing DB, whatever this person finds "nicer" or "better".

GA - The sequence of numbers "sorted" compared with a given standard (set
of sorted numbers, the judgement is very objective here).

M - Society (?) judges which ideas are "better", or maybe it is like in B
where it takes ages to decide (maybe we are just kidding ourselves we have
a say in memetics?).

ES - The teachers judge what students accomplish by using marks (quite
subjective system, but it has been more-or-less working so far).

MV - Each one of us is a judge: do I answer this message or not? What do
I write in return?

(4) REPLICATION. The fourth component is replication.

B - The nice part (you know what).

DB - The biomorph program does the replication (poor thing, no pleasure).

GA - Another program which keeps the winners and kills the losers.

M - People spreading memes.

ES - New students copy the successful others. They do whatever works at
a given university (sometimes sleeping with a professor may work...).

Begin Interesting Example
My daughter has just told me about an interesting strategy which grew
at SFU. She wants to sign up for a course which is in great demand
and there is a whole hierarchy in signing sequence. She is second
year which is the worse in "pecking order". When it gets her time to
sign up comes the course may be full. Her friend has a higher pecking
privileges so he signs up. When her time comes he will phone in and
cancel so she can phone a few seconds later and sign up (it's all
End Interesting Example

The system is evaluating students based on their knowledge and other not
related factors. New students will replicate most successful strategies
in getting through. The Education System (it includes all kinds of
schools) will allow replication of a certain type of combinations of
knowledge and attitude based on the knowledge and attitudes of teachers.

MV - Some threads have been alive for a long time. The topics which we
judge worth spending time on -- survive (eg. Absolute Truth) and

(5) MUTATION. The fifth and last component of Evolution. Changes are
necessary for Evolution to take place.

B - Changes in DNA caused by cosmic rays, for example.

DB - This is a build in function of the program to randomly change the
"gene" numbers.

GA - Same thing.

M - The more I think of it the more I realize how undeveloped memetics
still is. What causes mutations of memes? (Maybe I'm just in a bad mood
towards memetics after the L3HV escaped from the laboratory and infected
our list).

ES - Some new students come up with some new ingenious ideas and implement
them into the system (how to sign up for a course, for example).

MV - Our ideas change with thinking about them, someone writes something
and it causes us to "mutate" our views (for example I am still thinking of
a series of posts titled "Dear Stephen" where I am anxious to describe my
view on L3HV related and personal topics, but I think this was more
important for now). I invite your examples.

MUTATION produces new SOULs and Evolution continues on and on... In case
of DB and GA the process stops when the results are satisfactory for the
Judge. In the rest of the cases it seems to be endless.

In summary: Evolution is based on 5 components. In order for Evolution to
work all of the components must be present:

(1) SOUL

In other words it's SPERM !

Now you can see the reason I called the Soul (when in fact it's simply
"information", or maybe, it was God speaking through me...).

One more thought: I like to think of the first (the DNA) area of Evolution
as the universe developing us in order to experience and understand itself
(whatever it means).

Tad Niwinski from TeTa where people grow
Danger!!! Danger!!! DANGER!!!
The Level-3 Hypocrisy Virus (L3HV) is threatening YOU and your children!
PROTECT yourself: never talk to an infected person without a condom!