Re: electric meme bombs

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu 17 Oct 2002 - 01:15:58 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 07:43 , wrote:

    > 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.

    The uniqueness of every performance is a given. I'm not insisting upon it, I'm recognizing it. This is an established aesthetic axiom as well as a physical fact of spacetime. And I _am_ saying that each performance can absolutely be precisely an attempt to replicate a single memetic experience. Each performance of Dvorak's Eighth Symphony is an attempt to utilize the memeplex (the symphony orchestra) that produces the noise that Dvorak described when he performed his meme and left his artifact of the score.

    But it is necessary to recognize that all performances are unique, and that this is another mutative function.

    My stance rejects the very idea of non-unique memes, because it recognizes the evidential certainty of unique performances.

    In this way it mirrors genetics, as every mutation is a unique performance of DNA, from a set of similars. Coughs from the audience, squeaks from the reed, scrapings of the chair, if you will. Random, uncontrollable, unforeseeable, and yet, part of the performance, regardless of rehearsal or mental preparation or experience or even expertise.

    > If you reject type/token distinctions
    > and similarities for all behaviors

    Ah, I don't think that I do.

    I only call some behaviors memes, not all behaviors, and those certainly contain "that subset of significative behaviors which we call communicative, that is, meaning-bearing, such as speaking, writing, signing, gesticulating, miming and all the rest."

    A meme is a significative cultural behavior, if you will, in the meme-is-behavior-only stance.

    Indeed, behavior is the only item we can investigate.

    > We also need to decode the 'language of thought'

    We do, yes. The memetic models, I think, regardless of which one, help in that realm.

    I just say the behavior only model does it a little more neatly.

    - Wade

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