Re: memetics-digest V1 #1297

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun 02 Mar 2003 - 22:06:14 GMT

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    At 10:53 AM 02/03/03 -0500, you wrote:

    >On Sunday, March 2, 2003, at 01:26 AM, memetics-digest wrote:
    >>Let's see what I *actually* said.
    >>"I have intense memories of looking into the Grand Canyon. No doubt the
    >>impressions I formed are different in both gross and molecular detail from
    >>anyone else who ever looked at the Canyon. Interesting as these areas of
    >>study are, I don't see where they have application to memes as they are
    >>defined as replicating (transmissible) cultural elements."
    >Okay, then, please tell me what you actually said, if you didn't say you
    >and someone else both have different and unique sets of 'information'
    >about the Grand Canyon in your brains. That is the way I read this.
    >>I.e., my memory of the Grand Canyon is *not* a meme.
    >I don't see that following from your statement at all. What then, is this
    >meme of which you speak, and why didn't you mention it?

    I was responding to this from you:

    "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 how well my attempt would conincide with the vision I have. By the same token I might have ideas for stories, yet attempting to put them to paper may result 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 diverge from yours.

    "What I'm getting at is that there may be divergence from brain to paper and vice versa just as there may be divergence between brains. I'm not sure this variation could be shoehorned into a reified abstraction such as the

    And making the point that I don't think impressions of a painting (or the Grand Canyon) are memes. A first hand impressions of a painting can't be passed on to another person. Therefore is an impression of a painting is not a meme. I was also agreeing with you on the point that the internal changes of state in brains due to memes or any other memories are unique to that brain, though this fact is not material to memetics.

    Look, there used to be two standards for encoding text in computers, ASCII and EBCD. From the viewpoint of a person reading a printout, they couldn't tell which method had been used to encode and decode the text, and didn't care as long as it read the same as it went in. Memes are the same. Long as the person playing baseball with you knows how many strikes make an out, what possible difference does it make to you how this number is stored in his brain?

    >>Wade, do you think clipping what I said the way you did is an honorable
    >>debate tactic?
    >Yes, and it saves information. Let me know when any person can debate
    >every point at all times.

    Others will judge.

    Keith Henson

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