From: Philip Jonkers (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 08:29:21 GMT
No argument here, I think we are on a par here Keith.
--- Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>At 12:49 PM 14/05/03 -0400, Scott wrote:
>(re Richard Brodie's comments)
>>Is there sufficient reason to assume that ideas are isomorphic between
>>individuals? If so, provide some here:
>I would say so, where I take "isomorphic" to mean similar.
>In a short form, one definition of memes (that does not conflict with the
>definition of a meme as pure information) is "an element of culture" where
>culture is the sum total of information available to humans.
>Does anyone have serious disagreement with this so far?
>Baseball (or cricket for the limies) is an element of culture.
>Are there objections to this?
>Now consider this variation in a thought experiment I have used here before
>where a person can be tested for having the information in their brain
>about baseball by teaching an isolated group of children (who have never
>played ball and stick games) a recognizable game of baseball. You dump
>kids, teacher and equipment on an island and come back in two months.
>The variation is that the teacher on this assignment doesn't know a thing
>about baseball, but is given books on baseball rules and how to play the
>game before being dumped on the island.
>If the kids are playing a recognizable game of baseball when the
>experimenter returns, then the only information source for what they are
>doing is the books. I.e., the books contain the baseball meme (information).
>I don't think you could get funding for this experiment because the outcome
>is too obvious.
>Now information has to be "contained" in matter of some kind (photons
>included). I am not picky about what form it takes, human minds, ink on
>paper, magnetic tape or chipped into stone. Memes can sometimes be loaded
>into minds from what a person can get out of made objects, a shoe, a pot, a
>chipped rock. (I have spent a lot of my professional life "reverse
>Memes are often learned from watching others (though not exclusively as a
>certain person claims). Chimps learn to collect termites with sticks by
>watching adult chimps. You could almost certainly transfer this meme by
>showing video tape of collecting termites to naive chimps. You *might* be
>able to convey the "termiting meme" to a chimp that knew sign language
>without demonstrating what to do. (You could certainly do it with humans.)
>On the subject of how accurately information replicates from mind to mind,
>that depends largely on how much effort is put into transmitting it. In
>the days before pocket calculators, most children learned multiplication
>tables with a very high degree of fidelity. The process is much like
>communication between computers. Computers test the data they get from
>other computers and will retry if the data is corrupted (which it
>Human children are likewise taught, tested, and corrected on spelling and
>math till most of them "get it right." Game rules (three strikes, four
>balls) tend to be very accurately replicated. This is not true of all
>memes, look up "Play it Sam" and "Play it again Sam" in Google.
>But some amount of mutation/sloppy copying/random recombination/outright
>invention is as essential to memetics as it is to genetics. Without
>variation, there is nothing to be selected. The differential survival of
>memes (and why) is what memetics is about.
>PS. The meme that fruits, particularly citrus, prevent scurvy was a
>significant element in the power of the British Navy at one time.
>This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
>For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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