Re: memetics-digest V1 #1302

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Wed 05 Mar 2003 - 19:21:26 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1302"

    On Wednesday, March 5, 2003, at 01:18 PM, memetics-digest wrote:

    > What I'm proposing is that the moment I translate something in my mind
    > into
    > a medium of communication and transmit it to you, the "cultural
    > context" of
    > that message is "gone".

    I like it. It sort of mirrors what I say when I say there are no memes in the mind, because the context is, as you say, not there, really.

    > "meaning is in the culture, not the medium of communication".

    I like that, too. However, we need some medium of communication, so it does play a role. But, yes, meaning is in the culture, and culture is extrinsic.

    > From within my brain, there isn't any difference between wood carvings,
    > hieroglyphics, or this text save that some of the information
    > *appears* more
    > accessible. Is it really, in an absolute sense? I don't know. I
    > can't
    > know. But that inability to understand doesn't limit the universe
    > across
    > time and space.

    Yes, you have no memes in your brain- no information passed on in identical form from one artifact or behavior to another. What you have is, as you say, accessibility to the stored information (memories) in your brain, according to the way you've stored it, or it's been allowed to be stored in that brain, both by intrinsic processes of mental development and extrinsic processes of cultural environment and learning.

    Different cultures give different structures to these memories, if they can, and you move within the culture's environment, language, ritual, clothing, songs, etc. Other memories also happen, from many other sources, some within, and some without, your 'home-base' culture. (Yes, culture is a somewhat meaningless term, but it is, after all is said and done, where and when you are.)

    > But none of it has any inherent meaning until it
    > gets into my head.

    The nub, because I disagree with this. None of it has any meaning until you perform it. There is no meaning, (review your first quote) in your head.

    - Wade

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