Re: memetics-digest V1 #952

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Feb 19 2002 - 05:48:55 GMT

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    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #952
    Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 21:48:55 -0800
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    > How can a meme be *self-motivated*. I assume this was a typo, else we are
    > talking the equivalent of the *selfish gene* nonsense.

    You might as well say memes are nonsense. The whole idea, as expressed by
    Dawkins, is that units of culture are selfish in the same (nonhuman) way
    that genes are selfish. We're just been over this recently. Dawkins makes
    it perfectly clear that genes are indeed selfish, as long as we don't
    anthropomorphize the term.

    > 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.

    The continuum is between choice and *habit.* Automatic responses within
    organisms tell us very little about their forms. Every polypeptide could
    theoretically fold into any number of possible proteins. Only through habit
    does the polypeptide know how to fold into the correct form. Habit is based
    on memory, not mechanics.

    > Eg, at some of the motorcycle rallies i attend it is customary to
    > shake hands with old acquaintances. i invariably adopt the standard palm
    > 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).
    > Regards
    > Steve

    A nice illustration of the difference between memetic and intentional


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