Re: virus: Re: sociological change

Alexander Williams (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 22:51:32 -0500

Ken Pantheists wrote:
> But that is precisely WHY we need memetics. It gives is the ability to
> see the specific characteristics of memes in their wnvironment.

I'd extend that to say `in all environments and classes of
environments,' but I'm the goon that thinks by studying ALife we can
find insights to real biological systems.

> BUT memetics-- andf the way we live our modern lives as human beings on
> this planet-- as made it necessary for us to be able to distinguish
> between The bark of a big dog, the bark of a little dog, the meow of a
> siamese cat as opposed to a persian, whether the cat is well fed and has
> the right to meow the way it does, whether the cat is meowing to
> organize a group of cats against a certain dog in the neighborhood...
> That is what the model offers us.

Precisely; it provides a model which we can apply to animal as well as
human cultural interaction (and, hopefully, machine or xenobiological
cultures as well).

> Why run out into the backyard with it before we understand how it
> affects OUR lives?

That's why fields have multiple researchers. Some work top-down, some
deconstruct, some work bottom-up, some apply theory, some abstract
practice. Memetics' strength, right now, is in the fact that as widely
divergent as involved fields are, there's room for all kinds of
exploration of the model, just as in autonomous agent architectures
there's room for NNet research, symbolic module techniques and hybrids
that combine both and more.

> I DO hope you saw my little joke in the grant money line--- You missed a
> great opportunity for slamming what artists do for grant money :)

I never shit where I eat; I /do/ have humble pretentions of being a
writer one day and the self-prostitution that involves. :)

   Alexander Williams { /}
  Prefect of the 8,000,000th Terran Overlord Government Experimental
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