Re: electric meme bombs

Date: Wed 16 Oct 2002 - 23:02:53 GMT

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    > On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 04:57 ,
    > wrote:
    > > Which is why the neural excitation pattern that accommodates the
    > > performance of a certain behavior is memetically equivalent to the
    > > neural excitation pattern that an observer internalizes, that allows
    > > them to later perform a recognizably similar behavior (as two tokens
    > > of a type), in spite of the fact that the neural excitation patterns
    > > are arranged somewhat differently in each brain; what matters is
    > > that their interactions with their specific cortical environments
    > > facilitates the performance of the selfsame (or similar enough to be
    > > replicative) communicative behavior, and this is why they are memes
    > > (and not performances of memes).
    > Why do you insist upon forgetting the body? Your neural excitation
    > pattern is also the pattern of the muscles and limbs moving, and that
    > feedback to the brain- as you say "what matters is that their
    > interactions with their specific cortical environments facilitates the
    > performance." This is a required part of the meme, the fact that it is
    > being performed by a body, and this is a required part of your neural
    > patterns, the fact that the body is in motion.
    The brain is part of the body too, and not just the afferent and efferent networks (the behaviorists' straight-line pipe between stimulus and response). Why would you attempt to forget the conscious self- awareness that bestows meaning upon the being in which we find ourselves, and thus allows for memetic (semantic) distinctions, and choices based upon them?
    > There is a great deal of information, required information, coming
    > from the body during an action, and, unless this action is performed,
    > all mental rehearsal is just that, mental rehearsal. No performance,
    > no washee.
    Actually, umm, no. It is well known in athletics that the repetitive imagining of performing the play (virtual performance) allows its actual performance to proceed much more efficiently and effectively. Players who IMAGINE themselves shooting 100 free throws a day, one at a time, improve their actual during-the-game free-throw-shooting performance almost as much as those players wh actually shoot 100 free throws a day.
    > And, the meme _is_ the performance. There are no performances of
    > memes.
    > There are performances of songs, of course, and you did one,
    > allegedly, but you did not do this memetically, in that no-one heard,
    > saw, or otherwise perceived your behavior. All we know is your
    > account.
    You are thus taking the meme away from the performance, in which you claimed to anchor it, and investing it, instead, in the presence or absence of a (non-acting) observer, who, if present, is supposedly memetically internalizing the behavior being performed. I'm glad you're beginning to see the mental meme light, although as of yet you may not realize it. No matter, the logical and empirical consequences of your own arguments, as well as mine, will lead you to it soon enough.
    > > And in my opinion, its adoption leads to self-contradictions and
    > > gaping holes - which is why I eschew it.
    > The gaping hole in the mental model is that no living brain sits in a
    > glass jar. And, no real mechanism, either to study, or to analyze, is
    > yet apparent in the mental model, other than the hand-waving of
    > 'meme-ory', and, so far, we cannot do an fMRI on a body in motion.
    We can do it on the brain while the hand moves, or the leg, just as we can do PET scans, and while fMRI's are useless in such situations as they only reveal structure, PET scans, which reveal the glucose-burning accompanying an exercise of function, do indeed light up certain specific pathways for specific actions. We know in what order the afferent and efferent nerves face off across the Sylvan fissure, and which parts of the body they sense and move.
    > It
    > is simply a multiplication of entities to demand a meme in a brain.
    > The brain has enough to do without being bothered by memes. The
    > factory cannot produce a car sitting idle, indeed it does not have to
    > produce a car at all to still be a factory, but when it does, it does
    > so in the activity of doing so, constantly being checked, as you
    > constantly checked your voice for pitch and tempo (at least, I hope
    > you did, just in case someone, somewhere, with some musical acumen,
    > was listening), and, with every check, windows aligned, wires intact,
    > the car takes shape. But it is only a car upon ejection from the
    > factory. Until then, it was a work in progress.
    And that would be an artifact; I can carve one myself. But a factory does not engage in non-artifact-producing behavior (factories don't dance), and you cannot say that on one hand the mental meme is a nonexistent wraith and on the other hand point to physical behavior, ephemeral and productive of no perduring physical artifact, and claim that it is any more substantial. The neuronal excitation patterns in the brain change, in specific ways, dependent upon specific actions, perceptions and modes (remembering as opposed to imagining; mathematics as opposed to literature, etc.), and these changes can be, and have been, exhaustively correlated with those actions, perceptions and modes. They begin to change about a half second before the behavior manifests; this renders them not only logically prior, but empirically so. And the selfsame network will light up with repetitions of the selfsame motion OR THOUGHT. Action and perception are two poles of a single process; one cannot act without changing one's perception, and one cannot change one's perception without altering one's focus or attention, and these are actions. You cannot claim that the body behaves while maintaining that its mental correlates do not, and since they are chronologically prior, they must be the phenomenologically (and yes, we are talking phenomena, observed by means of PET0scan augmented perception) primordial latent source, activated in the mind a half/second before they bodily manifest.
    > And a meme is not a work in progress. It is the work, the performance,
    > itself.
    > Only then can it actually affect something. Only then can it fly.
    If you deny memes a cognitive ground from which to launch into flight, then they don't even have places to land. Thus, when they disappears from the viewed horizon, they must be gone for good. And yet, we all know, and remember, that they aren't truly gone, for we can bring them back with a bit of reflective (mental) attention.
    > - Wade
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