Date: Wed 16 Oct 2002 - 23:43:01 GMT
> On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 05:28 , email@example.com
> > what would be for one of them an
> > instance of 'behaving' might well be an instance of something else
> > for any others
> Completely true in cultures, as well. (I could not grasp what seems to
> be your main argument.)
My argument is that by insisting upon the uniqueness of every performance, so that no two performances cann be deemed to be tokens of a single memetic type, you undermine linguistic definition generally. By such a rule, there can only be one star, one meme, one frog, one tree, etc., and all the other things that slightly differ from our sole chosen exemplar would have to get their own words. This would kill off language and communication entirely. I understand your desire to counter my strong token/type argument, but this desperate attempt to do so throws out not only the baby with the bathwater, but the whole bloodline.
> > the kinds of behaviors that require the
> > previous internalization of a neuronal excitation pattern
> Any and all behaviors require this. How, in your model, can we find
> the 'memetic' patterns?
By getting more fine-grained until we can distinguish them more clearly. we can do so fuzzily now. We also need to decode the 'language of thought' so that we can read them. These technological and cryptological advances are, while not likely to be completed the day after tomorrow, still well within the realm of eventual possibility. Plus, we do not have to wait around in the meantime. Economic theory models the average consumer as a construct, but so far has never been able to produce a concrete example of this creature. It does not matter; the theories work rather well. The same with political science and the average voter, or sociology and the average member of a social milieu. And I do not think that Psychology has yet shown us the totally sane human against whom all psychopathologies may be measured as deviations from the norm.
> In 'something else' cultural situations, the meme would not be
> replicated, as no-one would have any clue what it was or where it came
People have been exhibiting and replicating behaviors and absorbing, storing, communicating and modifying ideas long before Dawkins was born. Neither did evolution begin with Darwin.
> > The memetic performance of the song 'She's So Fine"
> > subconsciously mutated in George Harrison's brain into the
> > recognizable similar "My Sweet Lord"
> I'm in no way denying the similarity. I am denying the identity, or
> the meme-as-behavior-only model would. It is not that _a_ meme
> mutated, but that a melody was repeated in the _next_ meme in the
> chain. Some of the DNA was stolen, as an analog. Some of the parts of
> the transmission were taken from a Cadillac factory and used in a
> Dodge factory.
That's called mutation and evolution. Which memes do. And if two people sing the same song, they are accessing the same stored meme; their differences in performance have to do not with the meme, but with the differing tools it has with which to manifest.
> > a doctrine of universal difference in the face of obvious and
> > ubiquitous token/type class set similarity.
> Unfortunately, I am not acquainted with token/type class sets, and
> cannot answer or defend or contend your statement, but, I think it is
> a false representation of my stance.
It's easy. Oak trees and pine trees and palm trees and fir trees and pecan trees are all tokens of the type "tree", but only the pine and the fir are tokens of the type 'conifer'. Dogs and cats are both animals; persians and siamese are both cats, but although they are animals, they are not dogs, while poodles and terriers are both animals and dogs, but they are not cats. And we could go up the scale to life (which includes animals, plants, etc.) or down it to distingush between wire- haired and Staffordshire terriers, or between chocolate point and bous point siamese, and so on. Language is constructed this way, in hierarchies of nested meaning sets. If you reject type/token distinctions and similarities for all behaviors, you must, ipso facto and a forteriori, reject them for that subset of significative behaviors which we call communicative, that is, meaning-bearing, such as speaking, writing, signing, gesticulating, miming and all the rest. For without a dialectic of similarity and difference in which to mutually define terms, language itself becomes impossible.
> > OMMMMMMMM!
> As is that.
Lacking communication, one is reduced to meditation. Everything becomes one big cosmic mystery. Or countless gazillions of unrelated little cosmic mysteries. But of course, it doesn't really work that way.
> - Wade
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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)
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