Re: electric meme bombs

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun 20 Oct 2002 - 15:03:55 GMT

  • Next message: Van oost Kenneth: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "Wade Smith" <>
    > >
    > > On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, at 02:18 , wrote:
    > >
    > > > Thus by your excision of internalization you have cut off the
    > > > possibility of memetic replication
    > >
    > > Not at all.
    > >
    > > The performance will strike a chord within me, and prompt me to
    > > replicate it, but I am not possessed of the meme at any point, and until
    > > I attempt to replicate it in behavior, I will only be contemplating its
    > > utility.
    >I don 't know Wade ! Your brain must work in overdrive !
    >Like it is written as above I conclude that about everything to see,
    >hear, write down, etc you consciently contemplate its utility !?
    >So seeing a play, hearing the words, feeling the mood, actually
    >watch the actors moving over the podium will strike a chord
    >but will it prompt you to replicate what you just saw !?
    >I don 't see that happening, you will contemplate a few and some
    >aspects of the contents and context and you will indeed be con-
    >templating its utility in some way, but not all what you just have
    >witnessed !
    >This strikes me of what Vincent is always opset about, that the
    >media, whatever they are, are the reason why people act in strange
    > seems to me, you lowered your front shields and let the
    >Klingons takin ' over your mind !
    > > I am only saying that, units of culture, called memes, _are_ behaviors.
    > > They are not simply behavioristic, anymore than general human actions
    > > are.
    >Wouldn 't it than not be better to say that memes are represented as
    >and into behaviors !?
    >All the best of regards though,
    Perhaps we should include as one of the defining characteristics of a meme that it is a transaction as expressed in number 2 of the definition below:

    Main Entry: trans·ac·tion Pronunciation: tran-'zak-sh&n, tran(t)-'sak- Function: noun Date: 1647 1 a : something transacted; especially : an exchange or transfer of goods, services, or funds <electronic transactions> b plural : the often published record of the meeting of a society or association

    2 a : an act, process, or instance of trans acting b : a communicative action or activity involving two parties or things that reciprocally affect or influence each other
    - trans·ac·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

    What is replicated through a meme is information. In order for it to be replicated, it must be transmitted. This requires the information to be encoded and broadcast and it also requires someone to receive and decode the transmission. Therefore, we can say it is the information that is the meme, but only if it is part of a transaction between an originator and one or more other people. This also allows for the problem of the receiver not receiving the information perfectly because the system generates noise as well as information. What a person does with the information received is beside the point. Usually, it is used to reproduce behavior based on the information received. But I think we can say that it was the information transmitted that was the meme, just as it is in the case of genes.

    For those who want to make comparisons with DNA and genes, DNA is also encoded information that is broadcast through the medium of reporductive action. In sex, the male broadcasts his seed and the female receives it and uses it to reproduce a body that resembles both the male and the female. That is also a transaction. Sometimes the process results in a reproduction and sometimes it doesn't. (for example, fish fertilizing eggs laying on the bottom of a stream or the ocean) It's the same with memes.

    So I vote for the word "meme" to refer to the information encoded as part of a transaction between two or more people which may or may not lead to replication.



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