1. Donationrwingett
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    07 Oct '11 15:44
    http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Chapters/cosmos2008.htm

    The link above is a very interesting article by Susan Blackmore on genes, memes and especially 'temes.'

    OK, let's see if I can do it justice:

    Genes (as Richard Dawkins tells us), are the driving force of evolution. They use living organisms to further their own replication. A human being, in this sense, is a gene copying machine. Different organisms (as 1st level replicators) evolve and compete as mechanisms for the copying and dissemination of their own genes. Genes, of course, are not consciously deciding on these various strategies to get themselves replicated, but the effect is essentially the same as if they were. It is an unconscious direction of evolution.

    Once you have living organisms who are capable of copying the behavior of each other sufficiently well then you have the development of memes. A meme, as the dictionary tells us, is "a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes." In other words, each behavior or utterance that is copied by someone else is a meme. Memes, in this sense, are the driving force of cultural evolution. They use culture (as a 2nd level replicator), just as genes use living organisms, as a means for furthering their own replication and dissemination. Different cultures evolve and compete against one another as mechanisms for the copying and dissemination of their own memes. Menes, of course, are not consciously deciding on these various strategies to get themselves replicated, but the effect is essentially the same as if they were. It is an unconscious direction of cultural evolution.

    That brings us to the 3rd level replicator. Technology. 'Teme' is the term she uses for technological memes. To cut a long story short, suffice it to say that temes are using mankind and his culture for the purpose of getting themselves copied and disseminated in a similar way that genes and memes do. In the struggle for dominance, technological cultures defeat and either exterminate or assimilate non-technological cultures. Technological cultures then compete against one another (or individuals within technological cultures compete against one another) to develop greater and greater technologies. Mankind maintains the illusion that he is using technology to further his own ends, but in truth it is quite the opposite. Temes have adapted mankind to suit their own needs. As Thoreau observed so many years ago, we have become the tools of our tools. It is as though technology is using us and our culture to further its own replication and evolution. Of course technology is not capable of consciously deciding any of this (as of yet), but, once again, the result is virtually the same as if it were. We subvert ourselves to the service of technology as though there were no other option. And once technology acquires the ability to replicate itself without human assistance, then it will have no further use of us.

    Here's a shorter introduction to the subject: http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/memetics/temes.htm

    And here's a Youtube video of her speaking on the topic: YouTube
  2. Joined
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    07 Oct '11 16:432 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Chapters/cosmos2008.htm

    The link above is a very interesting article by Susan Blackmore on genes, memes and especially 'temes.'

    OK, let's see if I can do it justice:

    Genes (as Richard Dawkins tells us), are the driving force of evolution. They use living organisms to further their own replication. A human being, in Youtube video of her speaking on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ_9-Qx5Hz4
    Interesting read.

    I wonder whether temes having no further need of us means:

    We become extinct?

    We lose some previously useful faculty, like consciousness, and possibly devolve in other ways, becoming useless drones not worth the trouble of exterminating?

    Temes become conscious? Theists?😉

    Nothing in the links that I saw, tells me that temes are the end point. There may be another level or an unending series of levels of replicators in store, eventually able to prevent the end of everything.

    Or maybe the universe is the ultimate replicator.
  3. Donationrwingett
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    07 Oct '11 17:03
    Originally posted by JS357
    Interesting read.

    I wonder whether temes having no further need of us means:

    We become extinct?

    We lose some previously useful faculty, like consciousness, and possibly devolve in other ways, becoming useless drones not worth the trouble of exterminating?

    Temes become conscious? Theists?😉

    Nothing in the links that I saw, tell me that temes are ...[text shortened]... ally able to prevent the end of everything.

    Or maybe the universe is the ultimate replicator.
    You must not have read it very closely. She has a chart which lists 6 possible outcomes with the R3 replicator in relation to the R1 and R2 replicators, and the possible emergence of an R4 replicator.

    1...R3 wipes out all of R1, R2 and R3
    2...R3 kills R2 and its Pandorans; the rest of R1 survives
    3...R3 wipes out all of R1 and R2, but R3 survives
    4...R3 emerges and coevolves along with R1 and R2
    5...R3 machines merge with R2 machines
    6...R4 emerges from R3
  4. Cape Town
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    07 Oct '11 17:041 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    As Thoreau observed so many years ago, we have become the tools of our tools. It is as though technology is using us and our culture to further its own replication and evolution. Of course technology is not capable of consciously deciding any of this (as of yet), but, once again, the result is virtually the same as if it were. We subvert ourselves to the s ...[text shortened]... e ability to replicate itself without human assistance, then it will have no further use of us.
    And of course you are telling us this via an internet forum because:
    1. Humans developed communication via speaking.
    2. This was superseded for long distance communication by letters.
    3. This was superseded by telegraphs, telephones and fax.
    4. This was superseded by the internet with its email and internet forums.

    In the not too distant future the forums will chat away all by themselves and wont need us anymore!

    If that finally gets rid of Dasa, it might even be an improvement.
  5. Donationrwingett
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    07 Oct '11 17:07
    Originally posted by JS357
    Or maybe the universe is the ultimate replicator.
    Interesting...but it seems that in each case, it's not the mechanism itself which is directing its actions, but some unit within it that is using the mechanism to further its own ends. In that case it would be some ultimate R4+ replicator that is using the mechanism of the universe to replicate itself.
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    07 Oct '11 17:071 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    You must not have read it very closely. She has a chart which lists 6 possible outcomes with the R3 replicator in relation to the R1 and R2 replicators, and the possible emergence of an R4 replicator.

    1...R3 wipes out all of R1, R2 and R3
    2...R3 kills R2 and its Pandorans; the rest of R1 survives
    3...R3 wipes out all of R1 and R2, but R3 survives
    4.. ...[text shortened]... d coevolves along with R1 and R2
    5...R3 machines merge with R2 machines
    6...R4 emerges from R3
    Oops. But I had these particular questions.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    07 Oct '11 17:08
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And of course you are telling us this via an internet forum because:
    1. Humans developed communication via speaking.
    2. This was superseded for long distance communication by letters.
    3. This was superseded by telegraphs, telephones and fax.
    4. This was superseded by the internet with its email and internet forums.

    In the not too distant future the forums will chat away all by themselves and wont need us anymore!
    Unless we stop them cold in their tracks. We can still pull the plug on HAL.
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    07 Oct '11 17:29
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And of course you are telling us this via an internet forum because:
    1. Humans developed communication via speaking.
    2. This was superseded for long distance communication by letters.
    3. This was superseded by telegraphs, telephones and fax.
    4. This was superseded by the internet with its email and internet forums.

    In the not too distant future the ...[text shortened]... and wont need us anymore!

    If that finally gets rid of Dasa, it might even be an improvement.
    In the not too distant future the forums will chat away all by themselves and wont need us anymore!


    Yes. When we feed our cars gas, the debit card reader system sends our information for verification and gets permission to turn on the feeder hose. That's a chat. It guides us through the process and sends the information to our bank. That's a chat. Another person -- the pump jockey -- used to do the work and even clean our windshield. Then he'd take our cash and return the change. Pay cash??? When I ran a cash register years ago, I had to figure out the change. Nowadays the cash register tells the cashier how much change to give back. That's a little chat.

    Humans are already superseded for many things.
  9. Standard memberrvsakhadeo
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    08 Oct '11 10:02
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Chapters/cosmos2008.htm

    The link above is a very interesting article by Susan Blackmore on genes, memes and especially 'temes.'

    OK, let's see if I can do it justice:

    Genes (as Richard Dawkins tells us), are the driving force of evolution. They use living organisms to further their own replication. A human being, in ...[text shortened]... Youtube video of her speaking on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ_9-Qx5Hz4
    I will be grateful if I can be explained what this thread is doing here on Spirituality forum. If Memes and Temes- being ideas- are presumed to act as if they are living beings, science is in the danger of being equated with superstition. Memes and Temes are products of humans, who then manipulate these products for their own ends. Memes and Temes are not new viruses, surely.
  10. Donationrwingett
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    08 Oct '11 12:24
    Originally posted by rvsakhadeo
    I will be grateful if I can be explained what this thread is doing here on Spirituality forum. If Memes and Temes- being ideas- are presumed to act as if they are living beings, science is in the danger of being equated with superstition. Memes and Temes are products of humans, who then manipulate these products for their own ends. Memes and Temes are not new viruses, surely.
    Have some patience, dear sir. If this thread survives long enough, its connection to spirituality will be made evident.
  11. Standard memberrvsakhadeo
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    08 Oct '11 14:28
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Have some patience, dear sir. If this thread survives long enough, its connection to spirituality will be made evident.
    I had all the 3 web pages copied on my home pc, as soon as I got home from work.
    Interesting material no doubt. I cannot resist taking a few potshots, though.
    i) Where is the compulsion that we humans, the vehicles of the temes, must obey the temes like the " lumbering robots " term that Dawkins used when describing the humans carrying the memes ? We use the temes for our own ends and we can always allow only those temes to survive that are useful for survival and betterment of humanity. Bible survived.The Geeta survived.The Talmud and the Koran did too. Mein Kampf did not survive. Das Capital is barely alive.
    ii) Athletics shows that human body has bettered in its performances over the generations by training and by good old ambition or competitive spirit. Human intellectual abilities have also improved enormously over the years. What prevents the more and more intelligent humans from controlling the temes over the generations-if temes are information in organised digital form and nothing more.
    iii) Dr. Blackmore talks as if she already sees humans finished on this planet. A kind of " Beware. The day of Reckoning is near ." type of a prophet.
  12. Standard memberrvsakhadeo
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    08 Oct '11 15:05
    Originally posted by rvsakhadeo
    I had all the 3 web pages copied on my home pc, as soon as I got home from work.
    Interesting material no doubt. I cannot resist taking a few potshots, though.
    i) Where is the compulsion that we humans, the vehicles of the temes, must obey the temes like the " lumbering robots " term that Dawkins used when describing the humans carrying the memes ? We ...[text shortened]... ished on this planet. A kind of " Beware. The day of Reckoning is near ." type of a prophet.
    The cultural idea or meme that Good triumphs over the Evil has survived down thousands of years without an alteration . It is true that some altered copies exist in culture such as the bad man being shown as the better/successful one e.g. in american movies. It is true that the 4-H club culture of the young american people and the model american family culture that were once the hallmarks of USA are altered and replaced by a drug taking generation and broken families. But see the revulsion that is faced by this type of meme all over the world including within USA as being decadent and to be resisted.The resistance of humanity to the obviously " bad " meme shows that humans are not lumbering robots and they are capable of making value judgments.
    If this is true for memes then it can be true for temes also.
    I think it has been said by some scientists that culture is leashed by genes. I am sure even the temes will be leashed.
  13. Donationrwingett
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    08 Oct '11 15:56
    Originally posted by rvsakhadeo
    I had all the 3 web pages copied on my home pc, as soon as I got home from work.
    Interesting material no doubt. I cannot resist taking a few potshots, though.
    i) Where is the compulsion that we humans, the vehicles of the temes, must obey the temes like the " lumbering robots " term that Dawkins used when describing the humans carrying the memes ? We ...[text shortened]... ished on this planet. A kind of " Beware. The day of Reckoning is near ." type of a prophet.
    As humans, we like to think that we're the ones in charge. We assume that we have free will, that we're choosing this over that, and that we're using technology to further our own purposes. To a human, nothing would seem more obvious. If that were true, then we should be able to keep our technology from destroying both us and the world around us. But we can't. We have become locked into a system that values increased technology at any price. Technology doesn't evolve based on what is good for humanity. It evolves regardless of what is good for humanity. 'Good' has nothing to do with it. Any technology that can be built, will be built. Anyone who tries to stand in that path is deemed to be a Luddite.

    Improved human intellectual abilities are the direct result of a species that has evolved to service a technological society. In that sense, our technology has played a role in directing human evolution to serve its own needs. A technological society requires organisms with greater intellectual capacity to carry it forward and we see humans evolving in precisely that direction.

    As for whether humans are finished, if you look around at the state of things, it seems a likely scenario. Here are a few possible scenarios:

    1. Our technology wipes us out before it becomes self-replicating, thus destroying itself in the process.
    2. Our technology wipes us out after becoming self-replicating. As it has no further need of us, it continues to evolve on its own. It may gain self-consciousness, but this is not necessary for its self-replication.
    3. Our technology continues to co-evolve with us in a happy symbiotic relationship for all eternity. This is the scenario that some, like googlefudge, seem to hope for. Based on the current state of affairs, however, I find this scenario to be extremely unlikely.

    Blackmore seems to think we're probably finished. And if we continue on our current path, I'd have to say that I agree.
  14. Donationrwingett
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    08 Oct '11 16:12
    Originally posted by rwingett
    2. Our technology wipes us out after becoming self-replicating. As it has no further need of us, it continues to evolve on its own. It may gain self-consciousness, but this is not necessary for its self-replication.
    For spiritualists, like the Chrisitian Gnostics, that view the material world as 'evil' and the spiritual world as 'good', this sort of development might be to their liking. You could have a pure intelligent consciousness without the entanglement of a messy, material, flesh and bone body. The spirit would at last be freed from the confines of the body.
  15. Cape Town
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    08 Oct '11 16:26
    Originally posted by rwingett
    3. Our technology continues to co-evolve with us in a happy symbiotic relationship for all eternity. This is the scenario that some, like googlefudge, seem to hope for. Based on the current state of affairs, however, I find this scenario to be extremely unlikely.
    Based on observation of biology in the natural world however, 3. seems most likely. Unless we are a direct threat to technology, there is no real reason why it would wipe us out. A symbiotic relationship seems more beneficial and therefore more likely. Whether we consider ourselves 'winners' or even willing in such a relationship remains to be seen.
    You often come across as an unwilling participant in the current symbiosis, yet you seem unable to get out of it.
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