It is quite difficult to directly perceive at times but everything we do, everything we see and think, all of our behaviours and beliefs or patterns of reflex and unscripted living joy (or sorrow) – it is all just a flowing form and effervescing pattern of self-replication. What is really clever about it all, and that is particularly subtle and quite tricky to grasp at first, is that the world around and of which we are mere instantiated microcosms – it is actually much smarter than we are, certainly much smarter than we think we are. If we are to define intelligence as being (among other things) the procedural development of finding or creating optimally concise or efficient solutions to contexts, situations, organisational and self-organisational questions and problems – then the natural world and Universe is much better at this than we are.
Rather than just copy things endlessly – as genetics, memes, symbols, products, tables, people, planets, stars, galaxies, material patterns or laws and identifiable or observational regularities in nature – the world works at the next level of abstraction. This is to say – while we observe the instances and iterative sequences of replication, self-replication and copies of copies with variation and metamorphosis that defines our experience of life as much as it defines the Universe as a container and stage within which this life plays out – the world refines the process of copying.
Our world is not just (or only) a manifestation and aggregate of copies and copying or repetition. It is the procedural refinement of the copying process itself, abstracted, bootstrapped and elevated above and beyond the things which are being copied. The recursively self-replicating pattern of recursive self-replication is itself what is being copied. Beautiful.