From: Wade Smith (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 01 Nov 2002 - 21:21:41 GMT
On Friday, November 1, 2002, at 11:05 , Grant Callaghan wrote:
> The place where I draw it is between things we use and things that we
> have no control over.
> To be a meme it must be something we can visualize and then attempt to
I accept that as part of the operating definition of the meme in the
> But the fruit is when the meme is transferred to the meme pool of other
That's where the beme is. It is the fruit. Because, regardless of how
perfect your seed is, how well bred, how preserved, actually growing it
requires a set of conditions that have a high degree of effect upon its
> How we classify our experience is memetic.
I also accept that as a part of the memeinthemind model. I don't happen
to see any need for it, which is the main reason I started championing
the bemetic model- sorting and storing experience is part of the usual
and normal process of the brain. The memeinthemind model demands that
because I try to lift and separate a Dvorak piece out of the daily
inrush of my sensory madness that I have some 'meme' for listening to
Dvorak somehow delivered to me.
As Aristotle said, it is the mark of an enlightened mind that it can
contain two conflicting ideas at the same time. I can accept, even
explain, the memeinthemind model, but I can't agree with it. (Hey, and I
don't even consider myself enlightened.)
I want to discover things from Dvorak. I want to discover things from
Joe, and Richard, and Aaron, and Derek, and Grant, and Vincent, and,
yes, anyone else who enters this room, and, well, we all have our little
lists, but, these are only parts of my _own_ experience, as a sensory
being in this frame- there is no meme for listening to Derek, for
instance, that is out there and being transfered in any way to me or out
of me. I'm sure, for instance, that I listen to Derek for entirely
different reasons than Aaron does (at least, I boldly make that claim).
> One of the problems with defining things as behavioral is that there is
> no alternative. Everything we do or don't do is behavior. So if you
> say something is behavioral, what have you said about it?
I've tried, as hard as I could, to drive the notion that the bemetic
model is any sort of example of behavioralism out of this room, because
it isn't. It is a cultural transmission model using performance as its
unit. As you say, everything we do is behavior, or could be said to be.
But everything we do is not performance.
But, there are theories of performance in art that, IMHO, need to be
also in any theory of cultural transmission, because culture is not
transmitted through memesinthemind, but by, as you say, these fruits of
cultural performance, which I call bemes, and the rigors and demands and
conditions and environments of performance have a richness that needs to
be addressed. Which is why I quote Cage, for one of dozens of artists
that I've listened to on this subject over the course of my life.
I find I've discovered my own small vestige of consilience in the
myriads of people I listen to.
Find the place Cage (Brahms, Mahler, Eliot, Bach...) joins Wilson
(Gould, Dawkins, Dennett, Damasio...) joins Jesus (Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius...), and don't forget Dali and Pasolini and Shakespeare and Dvorak and Bosch and Fellini and Cervantes and Arp and Bergman and Beethoven..., (this list is as long as everything you've ever read), and you're onto something.
And I don't mean heaven....
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