Re: more on language

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Wed Apr 10 2002 - 07:47:41 BST

  • Next message: "Re: Wildebeest!!!"

    Received: by id HAA05350 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 10 Apr 2002 07:53:51 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: more on language
    Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 23:47:41 -0700
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 10 Apr 2002 06:47:42.0174 (UTC) FILETIME=[9CE147E0:01C1E05B]
    Precedence: bulk

    ><<<<<I hope you don't mean that the rules of the perception of existence as
    >pre-requisite for thought are "a code or set of rules" that is akin to
    >"chasing the rainbow". It might be that I take liberties in a field I am
    >unfamiliar with but I think memes can be said to be simple and some memes,
    >derived from many smaller simple memes, complex. Sounds like a good rule to
    I don't know of any "rules of perception" but there is a process the brain
    uses to produce the end product of perception and when we understand enough
    about that process we will no doubt reduce it to a set of rules. The
    picture you see before your eyes right now went through as complex a process
    as the picture on the screen of your computer. The eye does not "see." It
    processes light and turns it into a series of impulses much like the
    impulses that create the pixels that make the picture of this email.

    The picture in the mind is what we convert to language. Even more amazing
    is the fact that we can create pictures in our minds of things we have never
    seen. And language allows us to pass these unseen pictures to other people.
      So does our ability to draw and paint. This same ability works with sound
    and allows us to invent tunes and songs and words of infinite variety. It's
    the perceptions we create in our minds that become the memes we're talking
    about. You see me write or hear me speak or sing and you can reproduce what
    you saw and heard, even if you've never seen or heard it before. If so,
    you've picked up a meme. And that meme is made up of many smaller memes
    developed by the society and culture into which we were born.

    Language is a collection of memes, as are the arts of painting and sculpture
    and science and engineering and organizing ourselves into tribes and cities
    and nations. There is little or nothing we do as modern humans that is not
    the expression of a collection of memes acquired from a lifetime of living
    and interacting with our fellow humans within a culture. Culture can be
    defined as the sum total of all the memes being passed around by all of the
    people who interact with each other. That's not the only definition of
    culture, by any means, but it is a good one for discussing the concept of


    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

    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 : Wed Apr 10 2002 - 08:04:46 BST