From: Douglas Brooker (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 18 May 2003 - 21:27:09 GMT
"Wade T. Smith" wrote:
> On Sunday, May 18, 2003, at 04:22 AM, Douglas wrote:
> > unless maybe the single meme referred to was an attempt to describe a
> > process. in which case the memes functions as a place holder to
> > describe
> > processes which are too complex to understand.
> The urge to simplify is always strong, and nouns are the handiest
> things around. The performance model, as far as I'm interpreting it,
> because I don't believe I invented it, does its utmost to not use
> 'meme' as a placeholder or a simplifier, at all. The place holder for
> performances in this model is the cultural venue itself, which is a
> socially environmental construct that utilizes performers, observers,
> and conditional manipulations of time and place, the venue itself. The
> result of activity within this venue with these players is the meme.
> There is no other use for this noun in this model.
> Baseball is a cultural venue, and to get a game of baseball started, it
> is the cultural venue that needs to be created or recreated, not the
> transferral of a set of memes _about_ baseball. Once the venue is
> formed, the activities that command the meme are also formed, and, with
> the parameters of the venue being understood, the memes that, as an
> aggregate, are called 'baseball', will happen. (In this way, the term
> 'memeplex' can serve as an synonym for venue.)
> > it could be that the nominal "meme" is simply a fiction, a marker,
> > that, it
> > is thought, will make the task of describing the process in question
> > more
> > effective. an epistemological supposition, not unlike the "grundnorm"
> > of
> > Hans Kelsen's legal theory.
> The performance model also goes out of its way to ensure that this
> interpretation of 'meme' could never be. The meme in the performance
> model is not a fiction, nor a mere thought. It is a recordable and
> vivid action, and not one that is unnoticed. It is not a supposition
> about how people think, or how they come to suppositions. Let cognitive
> science come up with how and why people think- for the performance
> model humans are participants in cultural evolution, but they are not
> the single players, and they do, in the performance model, just what
> they do, and the performance model is not concerned with why they do
> it, because, for cultural evolution to happen, the why is not
> necessarily important. As Cornel West says in the Matrix Reloaded-
> "Comprehension is not requisite for cooperation." And comprehension and
> intention are not requisite for cultural evolution. This is yet another
> example of the core error of the memeinthemind model, because this
> memeinthemind is an invention that is not necessary or sufficient for
> cultural evolution. The performance model is the only one, IMHO, that
> addresses the necessary and sufficient conditions for cultural
> evolution, and calls the indivisible unit of this necessity and
> sufficiency, the 'meme'.
> (Indeed, can a meme happen outside of culture? I say it cannot. The
> memeinthemind model says it does. Chicken and egg? I don't think so.)
> Yes, there is no reason to call this single necessary and sufficient
> thing a 'quantum' in view of the veneer of popularization of that term,
> but it's still a rather good term that has a definition of the
> indivisibility. At any rate, I first encountered the definition of the
> 'meme' as 'the quantum unit of cultural evolution' from the Church of
> Virus, itself an attempt to popularize memetics. It would be nice, at
> least from the perspective of the performance model, to have everyone
> view 'meme' with such singularity, but, alas, most do not. Instead, we
> have selfsame 'memes' appearing in 'slightly different' ways, in
> totally different minds, with totally separate intentions, in such Rube
> Goldberg patch-jobs as the memeinthemind model. Gack.... The limits of
> equivocation have not burst any envelopes in the explanations from the
> memeinthemind modelers, but, no points off for trying, guys.
> > to what extent does the controversy about the nature of the 'meme'
> > parallel
> > other theoretical controversies in other disciplines?
> I suppose the quark might be one such, but I'm not a physicist. Black
> holes certainly- theorized as possible, and finally enough evidence
> found to provide a foundational reality for their existence. Germs.
> Genes, in their way.
> Joe, and others, are convinced they have a theory about memes that
> mirrors this discovery model- that it is only a matter of time before
> enough evidence from fMRI and other cognitive investigative
> technologies will provide the reality of the memeinthemind.
> I remain skeptical about this, mostly because I don't think the meme is
> a requisite unit of cognition, and I decidedly reject the notion that a
> memeinthemind is a necessary unit of cultural evolution, and the
> memeinthemind model needs to establish both conjectures before it can
> be considered valid, and, it's nowhere close to doing so. The
> performance model is intact without any suppositional entities bouncing
> about in cognitive processes. As I said, the performance model is
> capable of being ridden, right now. Aaron and others have concerned
> themselves with the propagation mechanisms which are at work in
> cultural evolution, and the performance model has no trouble dealing
> with this sort of data. Just as likewise, the performance model has no
> trouble dealing with data from aesthetics, and social dynamics, and
> behavioral cognition, and genetic determinants, and developmental data
> from linguistics, et cetera. And there are no imaginary entities to it,
> no ghosts in its machine.
thanks, a good read, and a good write.
late on Sunday evening....will have to re-read to see if any comments are
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