Re: electric meme bombs

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Sun 03 Nov 2002 - 16:56:08 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: Standard definition"

    On Sunday, November 3, 2002, at 11:01 , Van oost Kenneth wrote:

    > Wade's scheme is a pyramid where in the modern days of our todays
    > world again, time after time the top (behavior), individualistic is
    > replaced.
    > I think !

    There is that very nice image of the granular pyramid, slowly rising, gaining shape, bean by bean, every addition helping to form it, and, then, one day, adding just too much, and breaking, althought not much, and as long as beans keep dropping, the shape will resume. Culture is like that, and the pemetic model is like that, every performance another bean, from the same source, until, break. So, I sort of see how the pyramid structure occurs to you, but I was not thinking, in any mental image, of a shape.

    What the individual does in behavior is controlled, to a larger extent than the memesinthemind model allows, by the cultural environment. This is like Richard's answer to the experiment question- he just assumes the
    'experiment' is daily life, and in many, many ways, he is correct. But, regardless of the facts and conclusions granted by observations of daily life and behaviors, (Aristotle and Wilson being suberb examples of men who learned a fantastic deal about how things are from such observation), the scientific examination of any theorized process is not satisfied by this, as indeed no scientific examination is satisfied without controls and managed variables.

    And, since there is no proof whatsoever that the conjecture of a meme in a mind is correct, some experiment of serious scientific rigor needs to happen, otherwise, such a meme retains its vaporous shape.

    I just want memetics to look at performance, and not the mind, whatever that is, believing performance to be more relevant data. (And again, this is what Richard is looking at, and he considers this to be
    _experiment_. Not taking him too far, or even adding words, it looks to me like he's agreeing that performance is the bottom line.... ;-) And, in precise fact, what memetic papers I have read and examined do just this. There is no memetics paper, as of yet, that is looking at data from brain scans and corroborating that to specific cultural behavior.
    (Please correct me if I'm wrong in this.) Several studies in my immediate knowledge are looking at perception and memory, but nothing, as yet, looking at cultural response to specific stimuli. It would be nice to see some glow in precisely the same place in all Levi's jeans wearers, I suppose, but, will we see that? Could we control for it to prove it?

    That's what I'm looking for. Some experiment with enough controls and managed variables to say, here, that's a meme for sugar in coffee....

    I just don't think the structure of the brain is like that.

    Of course, what I really want, and this is no surprise, is the falsification, by rigorous science, of the memesinthemind hypothesis.

    - Wade

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