Re: Where's Meme?

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 14:52:33 GMT

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    You mean that there is something in my brain, and your brain, that is the same if we both saw the same thing? Cos apart from on the most base level of perception I'd have to part company with you.

    I can only think that we would both try to make the same kind of 'junk sculpture' copy from whatever came to hand in our respective (and completely different) minds (i.e. resident memes from our different life experiences, and differences on deeper structural levels too - whether your internal representative hierarchies are wide or deep, loose or tight; what separates the lateral thinkers from the hidebound, the flighty from the dedicated). Whether you are (for example) down the Aspberger's spectrum a little and cannot support higher-order structures...

    They would only be similar to the degree that (a) we could manage and
    (b) that it 'mattered' (i.e. what the selective forces were).

    Cheers, Chris.

    > I would say that a performance or artifact is analogous to a phenotype: an
    > expression of a meme during the development of an individual organism in a
    > specific environment. Blue eyes are not genetic information, they are a
    > phenotype. The phenotype does not directly decend from generation to
    > generation, it is genetic information that decends.
    > A difficult thing about genetics is that it is the phenotypes that are
    > obvious, visible and macroscopic. I can only infer that genes exist.
    > Similarly, I admit that the performances and artifacts are obvious, visible,
    > and macroscopic. But, I'm not convinced that this means they are what is
    > being replicated. I would say that most performances and artifacts are like
    > fingernails; the detritus of living. In some contexts, they can form a
    > medium of transcription; just as the host of enzymes that mediate DNA
    > transcription are phenotypial expressions of the DNA itself. But, in the
    > end, it is the meme that decends, not any of the physical expressions.
    > I would say that genetic information is carried in DNA and memetic
    > information is carried in the physical and electrochemical structure of the
    > brain. I can't be any more specific than that now. There aren't the
    > scientific observations needed.
    > I'm not saying that's right. It's how I would answer the questions I'm
    > asking right now.
    > Best,
    > Reed
      Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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