Re: electric meme bombs

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 03:35:13 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: The terrorism meme"

    >Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 19:59:40 -0600
    > > >You could just as easily have made the case with a wolf pack, but we
    > > >are still discussing an instinctive, not a chosen, series of actions.
    > > > Self- preservation trumps sex in the ram hard-wire hierarchy, and
    > > >the female doen't seem to have the choice of mating with the smaller
    > > >ram because she thinks he is cute. The pecking order is a lockstep
    > > >structure.
    > > > >
    > > Sounds to me like you're anthropromorphizing. Cute is a human way of
    > > looking at things. There's no reason to think it plays any part in
    > > the choices of other species. Every species has to make choices based
    > > on the way they live and the way their bodies are structured -- even
    > > humans. Like I said, if memes in your scheme require culture as we
    > > know it, humans are the only ones capable of having them. If all it
    > > requires is learning something from other members of the same species,
    > > almost every species can demonstrate it. If you say animals don't
    > > make decisions based on what they learn from other dogs or people,
    > > even my dog can refute your argument.
    > >
    >Actually, I consider those who cannot draw memetic distinctions
    >between humans (and to a small degree, the higher apes) and the
    >lower animals to be the anthropomorphizers. My point was that the
    >ewe's hardwiring does not grant her the option to choose to accept the
    >attentions of the losing ram. With human females, however, the suitor
    >who wins a fight about her is not necessarily the suitor she will choose;
    >she may choose the loser, or even neither of them, considering their
    >behavior to be unacceptable. And behavioral conditioning is not a
    >qualifier for memetic meaning grasp (or are you claiming that Skinner's
    >target-pecking pigeons are memetic signification sophisticates?).
    > >
    > > Grant
    > >
    I'm not talking about Skinner or his pigeons. I'm talking about such things as when my dog first lifted his leg to piss on a plant in the livingroom and I growled at him. He didn't piss and as far as I know has never pissed in the house since. I formed a verbal signal he understood and he changed his behavior based on what I communicated to him with that signal. There was no endless behavioral training. There was just a message received and acted upon one time and continued from that time on in contravention to his normal genetic tendencies.

    When we had two dogs, I saw one dog learn several methods of cheating the other dog out of his portion of the dog chow. In the beginning, one dog just intimidated the other dog and ate both portions. Then I put their food in different places where they couldn't see each other. When the intimidator came running over the other dog ran to the big dog's dish and ate. Then the big dog would try to eat quickly and run over to intimidate the other. He couldn't eat fast enough. This game of dominance and trickery went on until I finally started punishing whichever dog I found eating out of the other's bowl. The games stopped.

    The punishment consisted of a scolding and a swat with a newspaper, but the message was transmitted and understood.


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