From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 17 May 2003 - 16:13:02 GMT
At 04:56 AM 16/05/03 -0400, you wrote:
>"The information for a piano recital would reside in the memory of the
>individual about to play, such as what key sequences to play during each song."
That was Scott Chase, not me.
>I would interpret that as saying the memes are in the mind of the
>individual about to play.
>"It may also reside on a score sheet as a mnemonic device.
>I would interpret that as saying the memes are on the score sheet.
I would say the music-meme (information) "directing" the performance could
be either or both places. In the player's brain if he was playing from
memory, on the score sheet if he was reading the music. Over time and many
performances the information would be copied into the brain of the
player. You could demonstrate the copy-in-the-brain by giving a player
blank score sheets and comparing what he wrote down note by note to the
>"To the audience, the performance itself is the efficacious aspect of the
>A member of the audience replicates the memes in his mind through the
>medium of the performance.
Agreed to a limited extent. If the person can be found humming the theme
the next day, some of the information transferred. But it is a rare person
who can listen to a performance of any significant length once and be able
to reproduce it. ("Small World" excepted. :-) )
>"They do not witness the firing patterns of synapses or unless they have
>rally good vision they are not looking at the score, if the person at
>recital is playing with the aid of a score."
>And, in this example, not via another medium.
>"[the audience is] not listening to or watching your neural processes
>But, they are also not witnessing to the performance 'directly'. The
>experience of any performance is mediated by something. There is always
>intervening time and space.
From the standpoint of looking at the spread of memes, the least
complicate way to look at them is just information, regardless of the media
they are in. (This is not to say that the spreading process is not of
interest, it is of *great* interest. Some memes spread through the
attraction of novelty. Others from utility. Some memes spread due to
deeper and more socially disruptive psychological mechanisms that we really
need to understand.)
The same "media independence" is true of genes. A gene is the information
in a length of DNA, but it doesn't have to be in DNA to be a "gene." If
you look at a paper listing of base pairs for some gene like hemoglobin,
the listing doesn't say it is just a listing of the gene, it simply says
"hemoglobin gene." And it *is* the gene. You can test it by typing the base pair listing into a gene synthesizer, making a length of DNA, insert it in a cell without this gene and see if the cell makes hemoglobin.
A while back someone did this with the entire polio virus listing and made
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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