Re: transmission

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Thu 15 May 2003 - 15:04:27 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: transmission"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: <>
    > The verbal communication of the 'there's a bear in the berry patch'
    > meme will indeed result in some meme-recipient people not visiting the
    > berry patch. But so will the 'in the berry patch, there is a bear' meme,
    > and for the same people. Performance-wise, these are very different;
    > the speech-action is not even close. Yet, they result in the same
    > avoidance. Clearly the meaning that is encoded in the speech act, that
    > is, the semantics of the message, is the essential, and the particular
    > structure of the message (a structure which mandates a particular
    > speech-act performance) is variable.
    > Now, suppose that one of our meme-recipients is a bear hunter. The
    > sellfsame meme (in any particular construction) that caused others to
    > avoid the berry patch will cause him to grab his gun and rush right over.
    > But why? Quite simply, because the message interacts with already-
    > present memesinthemind, and the hunter's cognitive gestalt is different
    > from that of the treasurer of the local PETA chapter.
    > Thus, we see that the same action can be caused by different
    > constructions of a meme (or even by different memes; say, there's a
    > mountain lion in the berry patch), while different people will perform
    > differently when presented with the selfsame meme, depending upon
    > their existent cognitive gestalt, or the memealreadyintheirminds. Our
    > bear hunter might respond the same or differently, depending upon
    > whether he is also a mountain lion hunter.
    > Meaning, quite simply, cannot be swept under a performatory rug, and it
    > is a fundamental confusion to mistake the encoding device (a pattern of
    > perceptual changes, such as speech-originated sound waves
    > encountering one's ears) for the cognitively authored significance
    > encoded in specific sound patterns.


    But it doesn 't matter if there was a bear hunter among the people or not ! The words, there is a bear in the berry- patch, has been spoken out to des- cribe an imminently dangerous situation in a tone that was designed to warn people off, the obsevers might actually be frighted and back off. Not the bear hunter though, he would indeed take up his gun and go hunting, but it is his existent cognitive gestalt that makes him do it. His gestalt is indeed different but it is even so a cultural command as sitting tight and be frighted of things to come.

    The cultural intention is present in the behavior of the hunter as it is in the behavior of the others doing nothing. It is how one perceives the info that results into a certain behavior and that is due to, indeed the meme- recipients. The speech- actions had to be recognized, for the formers they were afraid and sat down and did nothing, for the latter, he stood up and went hunting. There was no intention by the speaker to set off that the ones stay put and that the other went hunting or was there !? We can 't tell, people will perform differently upon the selfsame meme, yes indeed depending upon their existent cognitive gestalt, but there is still a doubt that this is done by alreadyinthemindexistingmemes, or memo- ry, or whatever. It all can boil down to recognition, to association with and upon existing models/ arguments and definitions.

    Maybe there isn 't anymemeinthemind, but simply neurons switching on and off by " recognizing " viewpoints/ experiences, freedoms and repressions. Maybe cultural evolution is due to our genetic ability to recognize the simularities between what our neurons tell us and what the environment/ culture itself demands/ commands.



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