Re: memetics-digest V1 #952

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 22:35:34 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 22:35:34 +0000
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #952
    From: Steve Drew <>
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    Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 13:47:13 -0800
    From: "Dace" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #952> I was hedging slightly when i used the
    term memetic quality to cover ideas
    > that have not been propagated yet along the lines of the potential memes.
    > My point was that you cannot term all behaviours as memetic as not all
    > behaviours are learnt from others. Eg i did not need lesson in not putting
    > my hand into a flame as the pain reflex teaches me not to do it.

    And you don't need memes to explain behaviors based on simple intention. To
    be memetic, the behavior must be self-motivated, a product of culturally
    imposed habit.


    Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 19:31:42 -0500
    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #952

    On Sunday, February 17, 2002, at 04:47 , Dace wrote:

    > To be memetic,the behavior must be self-motivated, a product of
    > culturally imposed habit

    The behavior-only stance just eliminates (as impossible to determine)
    the 'to be memetic' step.

    Thus, "the meme must be self-motivated, a product of culturally imposed

    However, "culturally-imposed habit" is problematic, as, can habits be
    said to be self-motivated?

    Further, are _any_ habits memes? Or, are all cultural habits memes?
    (Static memes of cultural turpitude, like shaking hands, driving on the
    right, saying 'excuse me' after belching....)

    - - Wade

    Hi Wade and Ted.

    No, IMO, habits cannot be said to be intentioned, as they are generally
    behaviours that we do without consciously thinking about them. it does not
    stop them being memetic, as they are still culturally reproduced learned

    How can a meme be *self-motivated*. I assume this was a typo, else we are
    talking the equivalent of the *selfish gene* nonsense.

    To me, as i have said a few times before and will probably say again,
    behaviours fall into a continuum from that of choice to that of automatic
    response. Eg, at some of the motorcycle rallies i attend it is customary to
    shake hands with old acquaintances. i invariably adopt the standard palm to
    palm response that most people automatically do. the *correct* response
    which i have to think about and consciously do is that of the *warriors*
    handshake which is palm to wrist. (sounds sad i know, but the people and
    parties are good fun).



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