Re: transmission

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 16:06:33 GMT

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

    On Friday, May 16, 2003, at 09:55 AM, memetics-digest wrote:

    > I'm trying to understand the difference between memes being recorded
    > in an
    > object (like a book or mind) and in a performance.

    The first step to understanding it is to realize that _there are no memes_ being recorded in the book. The book is the _artifactual result_ of the performance/meme (like the trail of a snail), which makes it a special case of performance, but _not a meme_- _nor_ does it _contain_ memes.

    The performance model is very strict about things being in two places at once, in that it denies such supernatural positions.

    Chris's video of a World Series game is yet another special case of an explanatory performance about baseball, and one that could introduce the venue for playing a game even among non-speakers of the language of the first book about baseball. If only the Tlingit had recorded such a book about that artifact they were faced with that was extinct.... It would no longer be extinct. What determines the extinction of a performance is the availability to construct the venue, not any amount of 'information' about the artifact itself. In the case of the Tlingit, we have a complete set of information about the object itself, as _we have the object itself_. But needed parameters of the cultural venue are gone, and they will not return. Not only can a meme not be in two places at once (the single damning error of the memeinthemind model, regardless of the endless equivocating that says - "with whatever arbitrary level of fidelity"- after all, why don't you just say it's a different thing entirely and get over it?), but, it can't be in two cultural venues at once, either, and this is often seen as time, but this is slippery, since time is expanded with the introduction of artifacts and written language. The cultural venue, however, is an evolving entity composed of self-conscious performers, self-conscious observers, and the conditions that involve their participation. And the meme, as the unit of cultural evolution, is the performance so controlled and taken part in.

    - Wade

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