From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 28 Feb 2003 - 04:22:28 GMT
>From: Hernan Silberman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1294
>Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 17:01:51 -0800 (PST)
>If a meme is pure information, then it's transfer from one medium to
>another should adhere to the classical model of communications as
>described by Claude Shannon. A low signal-to-noise ratio could be
>responsible for the differences between the original incarnation of a meme
>and the resulting neural representation of it in your head.
>If you take a photograph and digitally scan it a hundred times--each
>time using a lower resolution--at some point you'd have to agree that the
>low-resolution renderings cease to contain the same meme. Again from
>classical communications theory comes the classical answer: the medium is
>the message. Our brains make great homes for memes but only the fittest
>memes find ways to deal with the noise inherrent in their transfer from
>one head to another and their storage in the neural machinery of the
>brain. The fact that memes attenuate as they move through our senses on
>their way to or from our brains is to be expected. The fact that many
>memes exist which have evolved to thrive in this environment despite
>this noise is also to be expected.
>A painting might be a bad example. Think of the words "It's A Small World
>Afterall". It's effortless to hear these words sung and then sing them
>yourself in a way that would be easy for someone else to copy. The fact
>that it's a small meme probably has a lot to do with that, as does the
>"catchiness" of the song. If instead of a painting you saw a circle
>inscribed in a square, you would have an easier time reproducing
>high fidelity copies of it. Easier signal to make out, less prone to the
>same level of noise.
Ughhhh! Did you have to use THAT song as an example? I only live a short distance from the "Mouse Ears" and I've been there too many times. I haven't been there in years, yet I've probably been on the Small World ride at Disneyworld more times than a good portion of the individuals on this list. You would have to have had the context of a Floridian with often visiting relatives to grok the desparation behind my kneejerk dislike of "that song". Thus that "meme" isn't the same in my head as it would be in the head of somebody who just "experienced" it once during a "lovely" vacation in February when the temperature at Disney wouldn't peel paint or skin, like it would in August.
The "Small World" song may be in both our heads, but it means something
probably much different to me than you. I don't know how much can be
abstracted out between us.
>"it's all fool's gold"
> > I think important distinctions could be made between neural states,
> > scribblings on paper, or an artifact (a category which could include
> > scribblings).
> > I might have a hazy vision (neural state) of what a good painting should
> > look like. I might attempt to commit this vision to canvas. 'm not sure
> > well my attempt would conincide with the vision I have. By the same
> > might have ideas for stories, yet attempting to put them to paper may
> > in a divergence from the original.
> > OTOH I might look at a painting and come away with a somewhat divrgence
> > impression than you would, so my recollection of said painting could
> > from yours.
> > What I'm getting at is that there may be divergence from brain to paper
> > vice versa just as there may be divergence between brains. I'm not sure
> > variation could be shoehorned into a reified abstraction such as the
> > >
> > >This is by close analogy to genes,
> > >
> > I'm not sure how close an analogy can be made between the messy relation
> > between neural states or ideas and scribblings as carried over to genes.
> > >
> > >where most of the time they are in strings of DNA, but can be on paper
> > >magnetic tape. You could even memorize a gene. They are all freely
> > >convertible from one form to another.
> > >
> > Perhaps using some sense of the phrase "freely convertible". A
> > representation of a gene on paper isn't about to go and get transcribed
> > make an RNA. A paper representation is shorthand at best, just like a
> > sketch is but a facsimile of a real life scene, since you like
> > The base sequence of a gene might be memorized, but it would take some
> > serious effort to make a gene out of a memory.
> > Nonetheless, I don't see how the analogy helps the memetic cause.
> > >
> > >PS A while ago someone demonstrated reconstructing active polio from
> > >published genome. They did this with a used gene synthesizer that you
> > >pick up for about $2,000. I have not looked it up myself, but a while
> > >someone I know looked up the smallpox genome on a US government web
> > >
> > >So the "fact" that there are only two samples of active smallpox in
> > >freezers doesn't mean much in terms of it being used as a terror
>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)
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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)
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