Re: Something I heard !

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Sun 06 Apr 2003 - 15:36:18 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Something I heard !"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Keith Henson" <>
    > At 12:15 PM 04/04/03 +0100, Chris wrote:
    > >I don't think there's anything to control as such (mentally I mean); I
    > >think we are all-meme entities, so as I see it there is never anything
    > >memes in control.
    > "Control" is one of those words you have to be careful with what it means
    > context. It is hard to argue that specific human behavior, for example
    > giving roses to a potential sex partner, is not meme directed (and culture
    > specific). But the *motivation* (ultimately directed toward reproductive
    > success) is of genetic rather than memetic origin.

    In the case of Phineas Gage as written down by Damasio in his book Descartes' Error it seems to me that ' memes ' were in ' total control ' over the man's behavior ! There was no, whatsoever genetic impression launched, that Gage was to be hit by iron bar so that his frontal lobs were to be smashed to pieces and that his behavior/ conduct would change accordingly. He was hit, his behavior/ conduct changed by the alteration of his memes by the only kind of memes he could process after the acci- dent.

    The question, at least for me, remains that it is left to be seen that
    ' bad' behavior/ conduct is of a ' natural ' origin and that those are in a later stage of life are being adjusted, corrected by what is common cultural/ social behavior and conduct. That thus nurture overcomes nature and that thus very strong cultural/ social memeplexes take their stand in order to propa- gate further.

    In cases of problem- behavior among children, where thus nurture seems to fail, we ought to look, if we can of course, to how strong the personality- characteristics of those kids are, where thus the genetic component is still, and how, in charge.... There is, as far I can tell, no indication in the case of Gage that a genetic component played a part in the changing of the be- havior. There is no indication that Gage's personal character- charate- ristics were changed upon a genetic level, they were simply overthrown by the memetic elements.


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