Re: memetics-digest V1 #1298

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Sun 02 Mar 2003 - 17:19:04 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1298"

    On Sunday, March 2, 2003, at 11:36 AM, memetics-digest wrote:

    >> You seem to have adopted a homeopathic model for cultural information,
    >> and it is just as invalid and specious there as it is in medicine.
    > This is the same question as the question of whether or not
    > hieroglyphics embodied memes prior to the discovery of the Rosetta
    > stone. I would say that the potential was there, and it was rendered
    > actualizable by the translation key.

    Nits are always pickable, many more than I ever attempt. (This is the mainstay of academic study.) Heiroglyphs were, nevertheless, symbols of language, and, so far, language is somewhat possessed of an intrinsic quality pre-evolved before culture/memes, is it not? Or is that question still up in the air?

    At any rate, one can form and adopt and even use 'translations' of languages at any time, imagining the original semantic content, even being somewhat assured one knows the correct semantic content, but, one can never be sure, and one cannot create a new Egyptian heiroglyph anymore.

    This is what is lost- the ability to make a new cultural artifact using the same behavioral context, and this is what creates memes, and, both with the Tlingit artifacts, and with heiroglyphs, this is lost, indeed. And what is lost, bottom line, is the ability to make the meme, as its full context is gone. One cannot make a Studebaker in an Edsel factory, even assuming one finds an Edsel factory. Talk about potential....

    'Potential' is also a homeopathic term, and I am more inclined than ever before to designate the memeinthemind model as pseudo-science, too.

    - Wade

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