Re: transmission

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Tue 20 May 2003 - 11:59:20 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Definition of meme"

    >Jack and Jill are sitting in the park under an apple tree. They see an
    >apple front of them on the ground. Each is looking at the apple so there is
    >something in Jack's brain that corresponds to the apple and something in
    >Jane's brain that corresponds to the apple. But there is no replication
    >from one brain to the other. Each is looking at and recognizing the apple
    >independently of the other.
    >What I'm arguing is that the situation is not much different if they're
    >sitting on a bus and Jack writes "apple" on a piece of paper and hands it to
    >Jill. Now they've both got something in their heads that corresponds to
    >"apple." But there has been no replication from one mind to the other, no
    >"downloading" of information from one brain to the other.
    >In this second scenario imagine that Jack and Jill never knew one another
    >prior to sitting down on the bus. Whatever it is the arises in Jill's head
    >when she sees the piece of paper was there before she ever met Jack. Nothing
    >has been transferred from Jack's head to Jill's. All that has happened is
    >that Jack has caused Jill to call up something in her mind that corresponds
    >to "apple." It may be more or less "like" what is in Jack's mind. But it
    >has not been transmitted or replicated from one to the other. Those
    >concepts don't tell you what is going on.
    >Now, what if, instead of "apple," Jack had written "quantum indeterminacy,"
    >or "justice" or "meme" on the paper? What's the chance that those words
    >would evoke more or less the same thing in Jill's head that already exists
    >in Jack's?

    Vanishingly small indeed.

    Interesting point and appealing analogy. So if memes don't have a clear-cut physical representation in the brain as I contended also is there a possibility that memes have a place in the mind then? Since memories are obviously very private and unique the definition of a meme must be broad enough to call a mental representation of meme1 in person A also meme1 in person B.

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