Re: Standard definition

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Sun 03 Nov 2002 - 21:09:23 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    On Sunday, November 3, 2002, at 03:50 , Grant Callaghan wrote:

    > Since we can perform the same behavior over and over and we can call up
    > these thousands of words, which are an activity we refer to as memetic,
    > what further proof do you need?

    But performing similar behaviors over and over is not memetic solely- as every living thing does behaviors over and over. Is this use of words such a special sort of behavior that we have to call it something else? As you say, we only infer the mind.

    > Are you trying to prove that the meme is a physical presence rather
    > than a process we use?

    IMHO, those who want to claim there is a memeinthemind need to do precisely that, or reneg enough to call whatever they're talking about
    'memetic process' rather than 'meme'. (I want to _disprove_ there is a meme in there, while being totally comfortable with establishing the premises and conditions of a memetic process, which involves at least two individuals and a performance in time/space. And I want the meme to be the analyzed performance, and not the ghost in the machine.)

    > If we came upon a computer and couldn't access its insides without
    > destroying it, could you prove that a program was running it?

    But, of course, this collection of pieces we now have is not the computer. And yes, it is a simple process to identify the program running in an intact computer, or the fact there is no program running.

    By analyzing its performance....

    Even Dennett's memes (and Joe's and everyone elses who puts 'em in the mind) are reducible to (or in actuality) algorithms. And they are things most capable of being genetic, and most capable of intensely complex responses. This is the most important point of the recent work by Wolfram, which I am not ready to dismiss.

    - Wade

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