Re: virus: Re: sociological change

Alexander Williams (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 22:47:01 -0500

Ken Pantheists wrote:
> First let me say sorry for this rushed message.. I am halfway out the
> door and will later post a moe well-thought out response.

Hades below knows if I can write emails with the flu and tons of drugs
in my system, you can be allowed the occasional rushed missive.

> But You cannot communicate what it is like to be a gay man with AIDS, a
> Latin American leftist geurilla, an italian catholic woman waiting for
> an abortion.

On the contrary, I /can/ communicate what its like to be any or all of
the above just as I can communicate what its like to be a soldier
fighting for galactic peace on the outer rim or a sorcerer-apprectice in
a world that never was. It may not be exactly what /they/ would
communicate, but I /can/ communicate it. You can read/listen to/absorb
my communication via whatever conduit you like and spawn your own
memetic response to what I've done. It may not be what I intended, but
you can generate a response.

> i just saw an article on the way the Book of Revelations is interpreted
> differently by South American Latin Catholics and affluent white
> American religious groups.
> So I still say--- in the case of a dog-- you are interpreting signs and
> behaviour. If it is a language-- well maybe it is, I may be prepared to
> accept it, but i can't see it as a valuable memetic study.

The problem here is that we have no essential difference of opinion on
the memetic impact: Its just that I extend the inability to share the
same memetic niche with even those of my same species, interpreting
their `conduits' in light of my own experience and cultural texts. I'm
saying that the dog and the human are equally `alone in a sea of memes'
with only the interpretation of those `conduits' and the memes generated
by their interpretation soley in the court of the observer.

I don't have the same `cultural text' as you, I'm sure, but we share
enough in common to both interpret the same symbolic spoor patterns left
between electronic nodes. I simply contend that, because we have even
less context in common between canine and human, that doesn't remove the
fact that they /have/ a context and, thus, what could be as easily
called a `culture' as anything humans possess.

The value in doing a memetic breakdown of canine society would be the
same as that of studying chimpanzees and gorillas for clues to human
socialization; start small, work up. We can build neural networks
/roughly/ as complex as planterians (flatworms) now, in fact, modeling a
flatworm's responses was one of the early aims of neural network
technology. Start small to build up.

> sorry if that sounds snobby
> but that's how I feel.

Hades knows that we get enough snobbery around here. Always do around
intellectuals. :)

   Alexander Williams { /}
  Prefect of the 8,000,000th Terran Overlord Government Experimental
      Strike Legion, Primary Transport TOG "Bellatores Inquieti"
   You ride in 250 tons of molecularly aligned crystalline titanium
wedded to a ceramic ablative matrix.  You carry a 200mm Gauss
cannon, two massive 10-gigawatt lasers, two SMLM fire-and-forget
missiles, a Vulcan IV point defense anti-missile system, and a
deadly assortment of other equally lethal weapons.
   Your vehicle is the ultimate product of 4,000 years of armored
   Your life expectancy is less than two minutes.