Re: electric meme bombs

Date: Thu 17 Oct 2002 - 03:05:28 GMT

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    > On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 09:30 ,
    > wrote:
    > > So every smoked cigarette is unique, as is every quaffed beer, and,
    > > furthermore, so distinguishable and unassimilable that they are not
    > > tokens of beer-quaffing or cigarette-smoking
    > Unique, yes, each and every one. Distinguishable unassailably? Yes, in
    > spacetime, but, not, granted, necessarily perceptibly
    > indistinguishable by humans in cultural environments, and that is the
    > main power of memetic behavior.
    And the main power of memetic mentation is that a single meme can facilitate all these multiple yet of necessity subtly differing instantiations. It is a parsimony principle.
    > One may hear several performances of Dvorak's Eighth, and, quite
    > perceptibly, know they are different. But one can also hear how they
    > are the same, and even remark how satisfying these similarities are,
    > much beyond just the delight that one is hearing a favorite work
    > again.
    Yep; they are stylistically more or less favored by the rest of one's memeplexure.
    > What remains is a memory, of a feeling, or an attempt at a feeling,
    > that one might, if one could and can, put somewhere else, when one
    > performs another piece of music, or, the same piece of music. But,
    > perhaps the conductor will not allow the opportunity, or, something
    > else will wipe the memory away. It is all too transient, the way of
    > the mind, to put anything there that is behaviorally intact. Mutations
    > happen outside of the mind memetically, too. (I would say, only, but,
    > then, that's the model speaking.)
    Actually, the frangibility of memory is one of the things that argues FOR mental mutation; it just argues that some of it is inadvertent.
    > One never does precisely what one
    > thought one would do, in precisely the fashion, although one gets damn
    > close with practice and experience that lend precision. Cow1 is not
    > Cow2 and behavior1 is not behavior2, and even thought1 is not
    > thought2, and, gene1 is not gene2, and meme1 is not meme2, either. But
    > we can have meme1 and meme2 both addressing the same token, as you
    > say, in that the memory of the perception of Dvorak's Eighth that I
    > have, and that my girlfriend has, of the same performance at the same
    > time in the same place, can perhaps be the preparation for a meme,
    > but, so far, I do not know what, if anything, she has performed to
    > remark upon it- I don't think she's spending her token, certainly she
    > does not see that it has the value I think it has, or perhaps she
    > does, but, we have not spoken of it other than to say to each other
    > how much we liked it.
    We can have Dvorak meme(1) in your brain and Dvorak meme (2) in hers both recognize the same performance of the symphony, or different ones.
    > > The genome corresponds to the entire form of the individual; a gene
    > > within it corresponds to the repeated performance of a single meme,
    > > as it encodes a single characteristic, and not the totality of the
    > > template.
    > But not to the entire form of the individual throughout its life,
    > certainly. The genome presents the strata for the mind, but does not
    > ensure the mind itself. For the mind to appear, memetic behaviors need
    > to be performed in the cultural environment, and perceived by the
    > developing individual.
    For the genetic capacities to develop, certain stimuli must actualize them during critical periods. Experience is important to both the expression of genes and the impression of memes.
    > The meme, by being behavior-only, needs to be forced into constraining
    > circumstances, like laws and precepts and axioms and conventions and
    > morals and regulations and dress-codes and borders- culture is the
    > attempt to contain the limitless change potential of each memetic
    > action. Otherwise, not necessarily chaos, but, anarchy, and cultures
    > do not survive well as anarchies, and the survival of cultures is
    > something that, I thought, memetics was all about.
    Cultures have been determined as much by ideas as they have by behaviors. Communist culture, fascist culture, democratic culture, greek roman and and ancient egyptian and christian and islamic and jewish and hindu and taoist and buddhist culture, were all more behaviorally determined by the ideas and ideals they held than were the ideas determined by the behaviors.
    > Once the brain houses all the evolutionary machinery, culture seems
    > irrelevant to memetic survival, or is, somehow, something emerging
    > from memetic behavior, rather than something mitigating it.
    How many Buddhists bow to Mecca five times a day? Culture matters - a lot. But that culture is internalized in the society's members, and usually taught to them when they are young.
    > And, I don't accept that memetic behavior is not being mitigated by
    > culture, anymore than I can accept that the weather is something
    > emerging from a thermometer.
    It is both being formed by AND forming culture, in a coevolutionary manner. Or rather, ideational memes are being formed by and forming culture, via behavioral mediation.
    > - Wade
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