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From: Steve Drew (srdrew_1@hotmail.com)
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 10:50:07 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #952"

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    From: Steve Drew <srdrew_1@hotmail.com>
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    on 2/15/02 7:19 PM, memetics-digest at fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk wrote:

    > Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 19:37:12 -0500
    > From: "Wade T.Smith" <wade_smith@harvard.edu>
    > Subject: Re:
    > Hi Steve Drew -
    >> More to the point, culture does appear to be replicated
    > Permit my skepticism to show on that point as well.
    > Spiders can replicate their webs. Termites their mounds. The thought that
    > most of what we call culture is just as instinctual is not preposterous.
    > Culture could be just such a phenonemon. Changing to meet the local
    > variances, but, regardless of our complex sort of webs, innately
    > processed and actualized.
    > Language, innately prepared for, is nevertheless localized to
    > environmental conditions. What is local is being expanded, of course, in
    > this global world of the new millennium. (Is it english that is winning?
    > Last I knew, it was.) But, is anything 'changing'?
    > Perhaps not.
    > And, what is being replicated? Artifacts? Are they not simply the local
    > conditions? Could they not be considered reactions, and not replications?
    > Sure they could. In the same way birds react by altering songs, and
    > spiders react by altering webs, and termites react by altering mounds.
    > Innately. Sociobiologically.
    > However, I like the idea of memes being the units of the cultural
    > environment, and I have just adopted the behavior-only stance in an
    > attempt to leave all the other reactive processes where they started,
    > deep in innate development and stimulus/reaction. And also to put some
    > borders around the term, and make it studiable.
    > But, even there, we don't need it.
    > The real case for its presence is absent. It is the unicorn in the
    > garden. A science-fiction writer's conceit.
    > Or, it's really there.
    > At the moment, I, like Pyrrho, hold it to be and not to be.
    > - - Wade
    As you may be aware i am not too keen on behaviour only, as i feel it
    reduces us to automata. Nothing wrong with a dose of skepticism though.


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