Re: mind

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 19:05:18 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: Words and memes"

    Received: by id TAA26031 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 24 Feb 2002 19:12:44 GMT
    X-Originating-IP: []
    User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
    Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 19:05:18 +0000
    Subject: Re: mind
    From: Steve Drew <>
    To: Jom-emit <>
    Message-ID: <>
    Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 24 Feb 2002 19:07:14.0295 (UTC) FILETIME=[7822E070:01C1BD66]
    Precedence: bulk

    > Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 10:50:30 -0500
    > From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    > Subject: Re: mind
    > On Sunday, February 24, 2002, at 04:37 , Steve Drew wrote:
    >> But you would not term eating or sleeping as
    >> memetic behaviours. Hence not all habitual bahaviours are not
    >> necessarily
    >> memetic
    > No, eating and sleeping are necessary autonomic behaviors, like sneezing
    > and defecating. I doubt anyone attributes memetic qualities to them. But
    > they are not _habitual_ behaviors, (indeed, if they appear to become
    > habitual, as in sleep disorders, they are symptoms of an underlying
    > physical problem), as, definitionally, habitual behaviors are not
    > necessary and autonomic behaviors. A habitual behavior is one learned
    > through repetition and unperceived during performance, personal quirks.
    > But, affectations? They may have had intentional beginnings, as things
    > turn to habit through mere repetition- do you really _remember_ making
    > the coffee this morning?, but they become a conditioned activity or
    > response.

    A rather stupid error on my part.
    > The argument, memetically, as far as I can tell, is whether or not, once
    > become habitual, these behaviors can be said to be memes, or memetic,
    > depending upon your stance. My stance unfortunately is without an answer
    > to this question- as _habits_ they are not memetic, but they are
    > artifactual behaviors which can be perceived and interpreted
    > memetically, and that fits within the behavior-only model. And, 'maybe'
    > don't count.... But perhaps it's a conditional definition we need.
    > When I first saw 'Divorce, Italian Style', I became fixated upon a mouth
    > and lip mannerism that Marcello embellished the character of Guido with,
    > and, I remember affecting it personally. (Years later, I was watching it
    > with a lover, and she instantly reacted to the same affectation with an
    > 'oh, what a disgusting habit....' Time and place are, uh, important. I
    > said nothing....) After a while, I was doing it without knowing it, and
    > I don't recall when I stopped, but, this is an example of a behavior
    > intentionally copied that became habitual. Did _my_ memetic process stop
    > once the behavior became automatic? I think yes. Did the memetic process
    > of the behavior itself stop? I think no. But this is not clearcut, at
    > all. Because my intent was to adopt a behavior that had certain
    > intentional connotations, once it became automatic within me, it still
    > had the opportunity to be perceived and understood _with the same
    > intentional connotation_, and thus, was a meme being performed
    > nonetheless.
    > So, intentionally adopted behaviors with memetic content can be memes,
    > even after the performance is automatic. This fits with calling all the
    > cultural facades of rituals and manners memes as well.
    > But, the whole range of autonomic behaviors, such as ingesting food and
    > defecating, can only be surrounded and contained by cultural mannerisms
    > and codes. One has to eat, and culture lets us eat alone, or with a
    > group, or at a table, or on a cushion, or with salad first or salad
    > between.... But nothing memetic or cultural can affect the need to eat
    > or the fact we have to eat.
    > But, eating disorders, like false memories, are rich fields for
    > investigations as well. I'm not sure memetics has the drive-train to get
    > into that territory.
    > - - Wade

    This is a very valid point. If all of a group are engaged in the same
    behaviour, is it memetic when nothing is being copied? If some one comes in
    from outside the group and observes them and then starts to adopt the
    behaviour i would regard it as a meme being passed on. But from the point of
    view of the group nothing different has occurred. Would it be worth while
    calling learned automatic responses that have become built in to a group as
    quiescent until it is copied anew?



    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Feb 24 2002 - 19:29:18 GMT