Re: memetics-digest V1 #1312

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Mon 10 Mar 2003 - 12:29:30 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1312"

    On Sunday, March 9, 2003, at 08:08 PM, memetics-digest wrote:

    > We can use things for other than their original purpose, but this fact
    > also acknowledges their original purpose.

    As my example clearly showed, there is no required acknowledgment of their 'original' purpose, whatever that was.

    As for my cutting with Occam- nothing about memetics requires the agencies of separate, unique, items in the brain. Memetics is, after all, an examination of culture using darwinian mechanisms, and it is sufficient for that study to have human behavior- as it is, with no added ingredients- and the time/space (which is only to say, as you say, the spatiotemporality of where and when it is) of performance- which is where culture manifests and replicates and mutates.

    There is no need for memes in the brain, or in the mind, whatever that is, and since we really don't know what or how the mind is, I suppose you see some justification in putting widgets in there, but I don't.

    Once we do know how the mind works, perhaps there will be a need to find a meme, or a meme-ory, but, right now, just saying we have memories and behaviors is enough. Well, more than enough, since we can't explain those really, yet, anyway.

    One thing at a time.

    The analysis of cultural evolution is better served, IMHO, with an examination of performance and the time and place of that performance, not with the hypothesis of an embedded article in an individual brain.

    Memetics and culture are also 'many-body' problems, and analysis of that is largely statistical, not precise, and certainly not individual, with any predictive strength.

    Memes are like the 'action-at-a-distance' solution in quantum physics. We don't need it, it just makes some situations look easier.

    - Wade

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