RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Sat 23 Nov 2002 - 19:52:49 GMT

  • Next message: Jeremy Bradley: "RE: Islam and Europe and Joe"

    At 07:51 AM 23/11/02 -0800, Grant wrote:

    >I can't take credit for "post modern" and the philosophy of deconstruction
    >that it brings to mind. Someone else used it in a post that also carried
    >one of my posts. I guess you forgot to count the number of ">>" before the

    I thought that it was Joe, but you seemed to answer.

    > I thought for a while that deconstruction had something to offer for the
    analysis of memes, but now I'm not so sure. Looking at all the ways
    >in which a meme is being used and all the antecedants it carries with it
    >seemed promising for a while, but now I can't see where it will lead to any
    >concrete results. Each person uses the meme he/she picked up in his own way
    >and in conjunction with his/her own baggage of associated ideas. The usage
    >is different for each person each time it is used. I can't see what's in
    >anyone's head to make comparisons with the memes they are using. We can
    >only compare the use of a meme with the memepool at large because it's out
    >in the open. That's what deconstruction was about.

    That is right and that is why the search for quantifiable data is problematic, IMO in memetics. I also think that deconstruction of texts is a hangover from modernity as all a postmodern critic can say is this works for me. Even if we take the most basic culture-meme - there must be some purpose to my existence - each of us will build a different construct from it for our own personal meme-bot

    > Comparing all the past and present uses of words and ideas to arrive at
    an expanded meaning or
    >understanding for some text or other.
    >I never read a deconstructed text that increased my enlightenment on a
    >Now I see more promise in transactional analysis which analyzes how memes
    >are used and for what purpose. This gives me insight into what a
    >transaction was all about and what it did for the people who were involved
    >in it. To take a concrete example rather than a more abstract one, I'm
    >refinancing my house this week. The loan assistant had to compile a list of
    >information about me, my wife, and the house. They he had to fill out a
    >bunch of papers for us to sign that satisfied a number of government
    >regulations about notification of various legal aspects of the transaction.
    >Each of these little transactions was built around a meme developed for the
    >loan industry to make the lending of money safer for the people engaged in
    >that business.
    >Everything the loan officer said and all of my replies were meant to satisfy
    >a ritual that would make him feel good about giving me the money I wanted
    >and make me feel he was competent at his job and want to do business with
    >him. I, on the other hand wanted him to feel that I was trustworthy and
    >would pay the money back with interest and not default on the loan. To this
    >end, I chose certain clothing to wear, had all the information he needed at
    >hand, used a proper vocabulary that inspired trust in my intelligence and
    >competence, and asked all the right questions to demonstrate my
    >understanding of the process and the obligations I would take on by signing
    >the papers he handed me. Behind all of this is a history of legal memes
    >defining the process and the obligations of all parties involved.
    >This kind of analysis can be done with any communication between two people
    >if the transaction is recorded. All communications are transactions
    >involving the transfer of information or property from one person to
    >another. I believe memes only have meaning within the context of the
    >When Joe and Lawry were trading jibes, each chose particular words and ideas
    >to achieve a specific set of goals. Some goals included attempts at
    >dominance, the change of mind set in lurkers, attempts to humiliate the
    >other party (part of dominance), attack and defense with word play, and a
    >good time was had by all. It was the verbal equivalent of a game of chess.
    >It was also a good example of how we use memes, transfer memes, and
    >contribute to the meme pool in general.
    What you are doing here is analysing the stories associated with the transaction (even your cloths tell stories). As I've said before, narrative is the only area where meems are quantifiable. Jeremy

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