Re: Memes and molecular machines
Nov 24, 1996 02:35 PM
by joseph k price
Message text written by BC Crandall
My point -- that is to say the meme that has established
itself "with the fiery claws of heaven's own dragon"
in the brain meat of *this* domesticated primate --
is this: The memes of technoscience are making it
possible for our semi-conscious species to organize
matter with the precision of DNA. As near as we can
tell, all life is dependent up the smooth functioning
of the DNA-RNA-protein system. Humans, like all
creatures, make mistakes. Those of us who would like
to bequeath future generations the opportunity we
often take for granted, that of sharing memes with a
community of others (by virtue of the fact that we are,
at this time, alive), must organize themselves in such
a way that they will be able to survive the material
phase-space transition that will occur when self-directed,
and evolving machinic systems interact with the matter
of our bodies and the matter of the world with molecular
Elizabeth suggested that my "premise is that if the human
race does not survive, it will be a catastrophe." And goes
on to suggest that I am fear mongering, and therefore being
part of the problem and not the solution. Fear, is like pain.
It should draw our attention to something (physically)
out of order. Once attention has been drawn, and appropriate
action has begun, analgesics and comfort are utterly in order.
However, when I come across a group of intelligent,
articulate, caring, and in some fashion visionary individuals
spending their time and energy in (yes) inconsequential
memetic jousting, I feel the species is being deprived of
valuable resources that might increase the potential for
continuing this marvelous human dance.
I would not be spending my time and energy generating
these memes for your consumption if I felt you were here
(on this mailing list) simply for entertainment (which is
in many ways a fine activity, but not our only one). Perhaps
I'm wrong, but it seems to me that many of you deeply care,
about the well being of each other, the species, and the planet.
I repeat my suggestion that "we" agree to disagree as to the
"definitions" of "G*D," etc., support an intermediate fiction --
"Agnostic Adequism," which holds that while we cannot know,
for so many reasons, the molecular integrity of our material
environment must be able to support our physical forms if our
conversations are to continue -- and address the admittedly difficult
question of determining how we want to see molecularly precise
technologies develop on and around this beautiful planet.
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Keith: I am new to the list. I will stop saying this next week -a joke :) I
take very seriously BC's idea of meme's as powerfull 'Attractors" that can
change, infect, catalyze, reorganize our thinking, our society, world and
The cosmos is a meme in that it is MY organized construct of something that may
be chaotic. By talking about it I give it organization, if only the
organization I choose to give it. Thus when one talks about God one gives him
the clothes one has in one's own closet so to speak. God is forced to walk in
my wardrobe as I talk about him for good or bad. Those with enough gold can
structure art, music , architecture, political process etc to make God walk and
talk and live in their HOUSE OF GOD.
Of course the real HOLY SPIRIT does not walk or live anywhere it doesn't belong.
If my heart is a ready receptive vessel, the HS will warm and move my heart,
limbs and digits as if they were leaves on a Holy Tree of Life.
I for one feel that MEMES are like the eastern notion of skandas are karmic
debts and asssets. I for one have accellerated and activated a lot memes that
have been placed in my molecular mind's storage by centuries of discourse. As
the memes fight for dominance and survival, my whole biological environement
becomes activated and upset. Some find me hard to deal with and eccentric to
say the least. Yet in the long wrong, I think that some of us must be the
coocreater of "islands" of community and competence" while although the overly
controlled "professional" actors -can you say OJ?- seem to benefit from their
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