Re: Sue Blackmore lecture Wednesday 5.15pm London

From: William Benzon (
Date: Tue 18 Feb 2003 - 14:00:08 GMT

  • Next message: derek gatherer: "Re: Sue Blackmore lecture Wednesday 5.15pm London"

    on 2/17/03 11:03 PM, Keith Henson at wrote:

    > At 08:34 PM 17/02/03 -0500, you wrote:
    >> on 2/17/03 8:25 PM, at wrote:
    > snip
    >> But you memeticists don't talk about people as agents. You're always
    >> talking about memes as agents. In memetics human minds/brains are just
    >> passive respositories of meme-food.
    > A meme *can't* be an agent in the terms used in Minsky's work.

    You're talking about Minsky's society of minds as though it were a popular account of fully-worked out science. It's not anything of the sort. The science is not worked out at all. It's a pile of informal computational guesses about what brains might sorta maybe doing. Interesting, yes? Science, no. Not yet.

    > It is just
    > information. Now that information can be used to program or set up an
    > agent among a person's other mental modules.

    The notion of mental modules is both vague and highly controversial. You're treating it as though it's fully-formed and ready for use.

    > The agent can range from the
    > highly useful to inducing complete destruction of the person and their
    > genes alike. The agent created by the meme can even induce the person to
    > go out and tell all their friends about the new meme and *then* turn out to
    > be useful or dangerous.

    Well, if memes aren't agents, then how can they create agents, as you say above? Who is doing this programming? And just how do agents tell people what to do? Do they have voices that speak to the inner ear in compelling language?

    William L. Benzon
    708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A
    Jersey City, NJ 07302
    201 217-1010
    "You won't get a wild heroic ride to heaven on pretty little
    sounds."--George Ives 
    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue 18 Feb 2003 - 13:57:09 GMT