Re: Stewart tes

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sat 19 Oct 2002 - 03:51:11 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    >Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 11:11:59 +1000
    >At 08:11 AM 18/10/02 -0700, you wrote:
    > >>
    > >>H(1a): bemes
    > >>H(1b): meme-ories
    > >>H(2): pink unicorns
    > >>
    > >>My stance: dunno
    > >>
    > >>BUT, am I the only one pondering H2 as a possibility?
    > >>
    > >Without memories, what would there be to transmit?
    > >
    > >Grant
    > >
    >I am with you on the meme-ories Grant (though that may not be much
    >encouragement to you). What do you think of the story-ge of the memes in
    >the meme-ory? How else can the memes be stored without asociated
    >narratives? Do we transmit memes directly or are they linked to
    >narratives? How else do we order, link or retrieve them?
    >BTW my mother, who I look after, is in a break in her chemo-therapy this
    >week so I'm goin' fishin' for a few daze with my grand-kids; I'll check y'r
    >replies later.
    I think narratives play a very large part in the transmission of memes. First, there is the whole process of school that introduces the kids to the main themes of their culture. Then there are countless hours of movies and television, which are narratives acted out. Another prime source of meme passing is through interaction with peers. An article just posted here on The Blank Slate stated that most of what kids learn in the way of character formation comes through interaction with peers. As a child, most of the memetic misinformation I picked up about girls and sex came from narratives told to me by my peers.

    And, finally, there is the memetic action of learning how to do things with our hands. What kids learn in shop and on the athletic field of their schools is also passed from person to person -- a lot of it through imitation. Watching football and baseball games on TV also contribute imitative memes of this sort. All of these also come with narrative support from commentators and the players themselves talking about what they did and how they did it.

    By the time a kid gets to college, the passing of memes has become a full time job for both teachers and students. Upon graduation, the memes of business and jobs of all sorts are but an extension of the things we learned in school. The business of passing memes is primarily a narrative venture. We read manuals, watch videos, listen to presentations and lectures, and carry on discussions with our peers again, all with the primary goal of picking up new and useful memes. The books we read, both fiction and nonfiction, carry with them a wide assortment of memes. The words themselves are memes and have a tremendous effect on our ability to remember and pass on what we have learned.

    The only part of the average person's day that is not involved with transmitting and receiving memes is during sleep. Even eating is concerned with it. The preparation of food and the discussion at the dinner table concerning food and social relationships are all memetic activities. We laugh at the jokes we hear and tell them again at work. We discuss what clothes and movies are worth spending money on. We talk about the actions and foibles of people we know. This is all narrative meme passing.

    The fact that Mary is getting a divorce gives Alice the idea and she asks which lawyer Mary is using. Mary starts explaining the ins and outs of legal strategies her lawyer gave her. The law itself is all built on a house of memes. It is also composed primarily of narratives and these same narratives are used to argue the case before a judge with the fortunes of both parties riding on the outcome.

    Although not the only means of transmitting memes, narrative is the cornerstone of such activity in our world today. The written word is just narrative transferred to paper and computer screen. We would have neither culture nor civilization without it.

    That's my take on the subject, anyway.



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