Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 22:28:00 GMT

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    Hi Wade

    > Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 07:21:40 -0500
    > From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    > Subject: Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes
    > Hi Jeremy Bradley -
    >> determinism is the theory that behaviours are 'hardwired' into
    >> us.
    > Yes.
    > But some behaviors are also algorithmic reactions, like the spider web-
    > it is hardwired, in that the spider must make it, and to a degree follow
    > a pattern, but the actual web itself is different every time.

    Very true. However, the algorithm build a web with approximate
    characteristics is one thing, but given that the web will be built in a
    number of physical locations any one of which may make it difficult or
    impossible to fulfil this algorithm, the possibility exists that spiders can
    deviate from an absolute pattern
    >> From a certain vantage, this web might appear to be 'programmable', as
    > input from the environment is very much required for the full operation
    > of the program, and the requirement for input is a programming function.
    > As such, there is no reason, and no-one has presented an unequivocable
    > one, for culture to not be just such a hardwired, input-requiring set of
    > algorithms.

    I agree with the unequivocal point as we only in the last 100 years or so
    have had any real prospect of looking at the biology, sociology etc WRT the
    human species. Hard wired system's have the problem of not being able to
    respond in novel situations.
    > It's just that part of the input for homo sapiens is also other products
    > of these algorithms.
    > And I call the performance of these products memes, and others call the
    > products themselves memes, and others call the processes happening in the
    > brain memes, and others call all of these things memes, but, regardless,
    > no-one has shown any proof for any of them.

    True. But from the monk and his peas to genetics was a long haul. This may
    turn out to be phlogiston or the next science. If we are all chasing down a
    dark alley, we are still serving those who follow by saying this path leads
    nowhere. Discovering nothing can still be of value.
    > Hardwiring is not a defense against variance.

    Yes it is. It works or it doesn't.

    > And programs are hardwired.
    > And evolution is a system of developing hardwiring.

    It can be, that's why species go extinct. Too ossified to change.
    > - - Wade



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