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on 2/15/02 7:19 PM, memetics-digest at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 19:37:12 -0500
> From: "Wade T.Smith" <email@example.com>
> 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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