Re: electric meme bombs

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon 04 Nov 2002 - 02:57:09 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    > >
    >I consider memes to be meaningful; otherwise, there would be no basis
    >upon which we could choose between them. And choose we do.
    > >
    Birdsongs do carry meaning, but I'm not sure they do for any species other than the species that is singing them. When a bird sings he is saying,
    "This is my territory and if you're not a female of my species, stay out." There may be other messages in birsongs, but from what I've read this is the primary message. Birds with a larger vocabulary may be able to say things like, "Watch out for the hawks. I see one." But in addition, birds and other animals are able to communicate ideas with behavior. When one bird takes off, they all take off. The first to go was able to communicate something with that behavior that the rest were able to pick up on.

    Of course, I'm not saying they have culture and can understand complex ideas expressed by memes. But they can communicate simple ideas that change the behavior of other members of their species. Isn't that the essence of understanding?


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