RE: electric meme bombs

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Thu 17 Oct 2002 - 11:42:33 GMT

  • Next message: William Benzon: "FW: [evol-psych] Critique of Memetics"

            First, apologies for being well behind the thread here, but I'm posting now whilst I've got a chance to read some, and post some replies.

            <No, it can, and often is, mentally modified, with elaborations drawn from
    > memory and present perception. Otherwise, there would be no
    > mutation, and without mutation, there is no evolution. But memes
    > evolve. Q.E.D.>
            Not at all, mutations are no good if they don't survive to be replicated in subsequent generations. Replication of memes requires transmission between humans which may mean performance, or IMHO better, articulation/representation in some form or other. Or rather success of otherwise of mutations depends on environmental conditions, for memes, the crucial environment is culture, which means people, which means that if no-one is around to see/hear/read or whatever the meme is an evolutionary dead end.
            <A person who watches his/her favority TV show at home alone is
    > replicating the I-like-to-watch-my-tv-show meme, whether or not there is
    > someone else in the room to witness the performance. A replication
    > behavior does not have to be observed to exist, just as a tree falling in
    > the forest still makes a sound. And neither does a mental encoding of
    > the behavior have to be observed to exist, even though we can watch
    > particular circuits light up on PET scans when certain behaviors, but not
    > others, are engaged in.>
            But, again, memes are units of_cultural_transmission, and a culture consists of more than one human being. The Budweiser ads on TV convey the watching TV meme, and people sitting watching TV are seeing it. There needs to be an audience otherwise the meme is inconsequential.


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