Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id DAA11658 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 15 Mar 2002 03:43:20 GMT X-Originating-IP: [126.96.36.199] From: "Scott Chase" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 22:37:22 -0500 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Message-ID: <F26UxWgHEhXIfmNXkva000060fb@hotmail.com> X-OriginalArrivalTime: 15 Mar 2002 03:37:23.0309 (UTC) FILETIME=[B7F741D0:01C1CBD2] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>From: "Wade T.Smith" <email@example.com>
>To: "Memetics Discussion List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes
>Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 20:22:00 -0500
>Hi Scott Chase -
> >I guess to sum it up, there's acquired and inherited aspects of wiring.
>There is hardwiring which is developmental and _requires_ input, like
>language. And culture. And memes. I would not call this 'acquired
>wiring', but acquisition it certainly is. The tools of acquisition and
>the places to put what is acquired are parts of what is 'hardwired'.
I was saying that there's wiring with inherited and acquired aspects,
getting away from the well worn (habitual?) dichotomy of hard- and
softwiring. Then again maybe the wiring patterns are influence by heredities
of genetic and social nature.
>All creatures have unique elements of acquisition- their individually
>evolved senses- and homo sapiens has (to all evidences and with sprinkled
>and carefully constrained exceptions) a unique system of retention and
>utilization of these acquisitions. I prefer the memetic side be the
>utilization side. But, I do think (personal feeling, and regardless of
>the fact that I'm not convinced, and I totally see an equal balance of
>argument from the other camp, and I will sometimes raise the points of
>either side) that memetics is unique to homo sapiens.
In trying to check up on my thinking about what ethological fixed action
patterns (FAP's) are, I just looked up John Alcock's discussion in his text
_Animal Behavior (5th edition)_ which has a memorable picture of some guy
yawning. Alcock offers yawning as a human FAP (and releaser). Does this mean
yawns are rigidly instinctive? Yawns are also contagious. If your buddy
yawns, you might just follow suit. So if we have a room full of people in a
reasonably oxygenated room and our experimental confederate forces a yawn,
if a predicted yawn cascade ensues, what have we? A FAP contagion event?
People might have their own variation of a yawn and a stretch whereby they
may have copied or mimicked something they've seen done before or innovated
their own yawning style. Kinda boring behavior likely to cause yawning in
those contemplating it, but a start. How many people are yawning now,
reading this post?
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