From: Grant Callaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue 10 Dec 2002 - 15:35:24 GMT
The means you use shape the ends you get.
>At 08:25 AM 9/12/02 -0800, you wrote:
> >>Snip:..........Jeremy's rave
> >>As you know Grant, there are probably as much difference between our
> >>genetic makeup (yours and mine) as there is between either of us and a
> >>Kalahari Bushman yet the Bushman's culture 'evolved' differently to
> >>What I am saying is that cultures evolved out of their environments. I
> >>suggest that the place of narrative is to guide and constrain culture in
> >>its replication. The codes that I speak of, and not the cultures
> >>themselves, are the arbiters of propriety.
> >>If you tell your children the story, told to you by your parents, of how
> >>your pioneer ancestors survived sixty days in the wilderness, what are
> >>telling them, and why? IMO you are passing on the memes of Callaghanism,
> >>what it is to be a Callighan, what we do when confronted by hardship,
> >>tough and resourceful we are, how we stick together, etc. You are
> >>programming Callighan 'culture' into them in such a way as to constrain
> >>them into preserving and replicating Callighanism.
> >>IMO all cultures, right down to the Grand United Chicken-farmers Bridge
> >>Club have stories which constrain their culture so that it has a
> >>chance to replicate in a recognisable way.
> >I can't contest that.
> >Excuse me. The bridge club is having a meeting now. ;-)
>The theory gets better than this Grant. We can establish that the purpose
>of cultural narratives is to replicate the culture, be it a family, a
>bridge club, a religion, a nation or a global ideological perspective. They
>all tell stories for this purpose.
>If these stories, and their narrative patterns, do enable the continuity
>and recognisable replication of the culture, then the members of those
>cultures will have difficulty recognising the validity of any culture which
>doesn't have reasonable similarity to their culture. IMO this is evident
>from some of the more heated case-studies on the list.
>When I wrote my Honours thesis, I mistakenly thought of these memetic
>strands as memes. I now think that each culture, and indeed each
>individual, has a full set of memetic filters, (cnemes = culture memes -
>derived from genome) which are built up from elements which are acquired
>from the available narrative material.
>The individual, or the culture can then only judge what is appropriate by
>running information through these filters. When we have a situation where
>the narratives available are controlled by vested interest or ideologies,
>as is the case with most cultures, then we have a powerful force for
>conditioning. Therefore, it is the case that if one were to produce a
>narrative, be it art, literature, architecture etc., that doesn't fit with
>the accepted position, then that narrative is considered invalid.
>I dragged the old thesis out today and will re-write it for submission to
>the journal, (give me a few weeks), I hope that it will explain my
>Thanks for the inspiration and feel free to correct my genetic/memetic
I am still in a state of pondering what I realized yesterday == that the
propagation of memes in no way resembles either the Darwinian or the
Lamarkian model. Right now, I can't think of anything it does resemble
other than information theory. Cybernetics seems to offer a more reasonable
explanation than genetics because we have no idea what memes give birth to.
The fact that we have culture, however, is a good indication they give birth
to something. And whatever it is seems to be growing at an exponential
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