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What gets my intellectual juices flowing? A pleasurable compulsion towards greater and deeper knowledge

When I was a PhD student, I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine Niall about some esoterica of connectionism. Some way through the conversation, we realised that we didn’t actually have a term for what we were discussing. What we wanted was a term richly descriptive of dynamic computational systems that was able to express the deeply fluid and cyclical nature of these systems.

We settled on the adjective processual to describe the kinds of system we were discussing (even though it wasn’t a word), and it did for us: we liked it.

The word "memetic" falls into the same category of a term that doesn’t exist (at least, I don't think it does), but I’d really like if it did. For me, its usefully descriptive of Richard Dawkins’ great concept of the meme. And to take the definition forward a tad, perhaps a useful label for whatever it is that makes me want to pursue certain interesting ideas and concepts is therefore my memetic motivation.

Memetic motivation: a pleasurable compulsion towards greater and deeper knowledge, greater complexity, more networks of relationship.

But then really, isn't everyone motivated memetically to some degree or another? Doesn’t the genome, via the phenotype, always want to get bigger, more complicated? This is life itself though I guess: in stark contrast to the entropy inherent in thermodynamics, life seems to exhibits negative entropy, or a gradual and spontaneous increase in order over time.

If this was solely the scope of my memetic motivations, I’d still be an academic methinks. The reason I’m not is because I've realised that I want to communicate my current and future understanding not just through words, but through actions, words, design, imagery, technology (and other people, too) and all in stimulating, beautiful ways - if that makes sense?

 
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