Re: electric meme bombs

Date: Thu 17 Oct 2002 - 00:17:59 GMT

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    > On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 07:02 ,
    > wrote:
    > > 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
    > Hmm. No.
    > The observer will need to perform, as well.
    > And that performance will be _another_ meme.
    > Each meme is distinct, and each meme is a performance.
    No, each particular token (say, of polka-dancing) is a token of a type
    (the type being polka-dancing).The person who watches a polka being danced, and some time later trys to do it him/herself, has both rememe- bered the observed token, and later accessed this meme-ory in order to produce another token of the type.
    > > 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.
    > No argument. The practiced performer is always rehearsing, mentally.
    > But the performance itself (the meme itself) is always different,
    > otherwise, they would not need to prepare their activity with careful
    > and concerned thoughts.
    They are mentally rehearsing the type "successful free-throw", to sink the meme into their brains, and subsequently are able to more successfully produce tokens of it.
    > > 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?
    > I don't. Finding meaning is precisely what prompts the attempt to
    > replicate the behavior. If no meaning is found, chanced upon, or
    > otherwise understood, no attempt is made to perform. Latency, as I
    > said, is not acceptable in my stance.
    Meaning is something that is LEARNED and KNOWN. And where is this learned and known meaning stored between its acquisition and communications of it? In the brain. Or what use do you otherwise propose for the organ?
    > But meanings are not memes, any more than thoughts, or ideas, or the
    > brain's ferments. Memes are cultural behaviors with an expected
    > audience (in the model I am championing).
    These behaviors are ideation-based, insofar as they possess or are able to convey meaning. Otherwise, show me an example of external behavioral meaning, without a concommitant internal mental recognition of it. > > But a factory
    > > does not engage in non-artifact-producing behavior (factories don't
    > > dance)
    > The analogy was never intended to stretch to that point. Of course
    > factories don't dance. But churches don't either.
    Some congregations do. Factories are machines; churches are meme- bers.
    > > You cannot claim that
    > > the body behaves while maintaining that its mental correlates do not
    > I don't. I do claim that both are needed for behavior. And, yes, both
    > are one.
    Then why are they separated by that half-second?
    > > 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.
    > Indeed, one does need to know one _has_ acted.
    And one needs to have an idea of what one plans to do in order to subsequently do anything purposively meaningful.
    > > They begin to change about a half second before the
    > > behavior manifests; this renders them not only logically prior, but
    > > empirically so.
    > This would seem to be your main argument, this priority. But, without
    > an actual action, which this thought is preceding, what have we?
    > Nothing.
    We do not have instances of the action without the preocurring thought.
    > Well, we have thought, but, in a cultural context, that _is_ nothing.
    > It is nothing in most other contexts, as well. The athlete, in your
    > example, is practically indistinguishable from his body. So is a
    > dancer. We cannot, as yet, have phantom limbs activated and then seen
    > by an audience. The memetic brain is indistinguishable from the
    > memetic body, and the meme is not a mental-only product. It requires
    > behavior. Since requiring behavior is indistinguishable from the
    > behavior itself, the behavior is the meme. That demands that the meme
    > is unique, and distinct, and that it perishes, instantly. A memory in
    > the performer and the observer is all that remains, and the entire
    > round of 'mutation' during replication can be seen as a function of
    > memory, preparation, and performance.
    Once again, no, no, no. These are instances - tokens of a single type, and it is the cognitively stored type that is the meme and the performances which are behavioral manifestations of it. Memesis requires BOTH thought AND behavior; in the absence of either, memesis does not occur. And if the athlete or dancer were indeed indistinguishable from their bodies, that is, if they lacked minds, they would not be able to improve behavioral pervormance via mental imagistic rehearsal. Buth they are able to do so.

    > > If you deny memes a cognitive ground from which to launch into
    > > flight, then they don't even have places to land.
    > But, I'm not denying them anything. I'm giving them a mind, and a
    > body, and a large environment of cultural appurtenances to play with.
    > I'm giving them entire libraries, and colossal empires, as ground. And
    > I'm giving them the expanse of the whole sky to fly in.
    > I'm not relegating them merely to brains, but watching them cavort in
    > the world.
    I'm not relegating them to the phenomenal surface behavior, but instilling them with significant and semantic depth. And the human brain, as the most complex object in the universe of which we are aware, is hardly "mere".
    > > I'm glad you're
    > > beginning to see the mental meme light
    > I've never sat down and said the mental processes of human creativity
    > are chaff, but I don't see them as illumination, either, certainly I
    > don't see a need for a meme there, but I do see a need for a memetic
    > process. The factory, if you will, although we've exhausted that one.
    > Certainly the substrate. Memes are, if you will, the emergent
    > processes of the cultural mind, transmissible only as behavior, and
    > so, I adopt the behavior only model.
    They are internally selected for and against, and internally mutated. This is why a behavior-only model is insufficient; without selection and mutation, evolution does not occur. Of course you are free to deny that memes evolve, but then your position is contrary to both the genetic and the viral models which inspired the field of memetics in the first place - as mental analogies to these physical processes.
    > I do admit it is becoming the only attractive model to me. Your
    > arguments are not convincing me otherwise, and I don't think I'm just
    > juggernauting this stance.
    Well, if the absence of evolution, mutation, selection, internal perdurance between performances and type/token distinctions aren't warts enough, you must really love the frog.
    > - Wade
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