throwing tomatoes

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Wed 21 May 2003 - 09:05:32 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: definition of meme"

    On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 01:13 AM, memetics-digest wrote:

    > I got it; I just don't agree with it,

    I don't have a problem with that.

    > that the tomatoes were nontoxic to humans was
    > not present anywhere in the external environment. I triple-dog-DARE
    > you to show me where it was. And Jack had to know this piece of info.
    > before he told it to Jill, in order to do so. Where did he store this
    > knowledge? In his BRAIN, dewde! It was a meme that had been
    > transferred to him, and he subsequently transferred it to Jill.
    > Coffee,
    > anyone? It's wake-up time!

    But, you never use your understanding of the performance model in your criticism of it, because, it is very simple to apply the definitions and mechanisms of it to all of your scenarios. Triple-dog-dare? The fact that people eat tomatoes and do not get sick is, what, some sort of fact held only in brains? No. It is an observable and solid presence in the environment, the fact that Jack is not dead.

    And then, it is a very solid performance from him to tell Jill he is alive, although one wonders why she needed to be reminded of this, perhaps Jack is not very demonstrative in his affections....

    I like my coffee dark.

    Information does not come, somehow magically, before the fact of its observation, and does not get understood before an attempt at communication. All these attempts are memes. The information in the brain is not.

    This is a straight application of the performance model and the definitions of the performance model.

    The reason I do not agree with the memeinthemind model, is because, in order for a culture to evolve, regardless of what information someone has in his brain, an attempt must be made to communicate it, and this attempt must be observed, and then attempted again, and if the attempts
    (the memes) maintain a pattern of continuity such that following performances are similar to a large audience, the cultural venue that maintains this performance is maintainable.

    Jack communicated the tomato's non-lethal qualities to Jill, who may in turn communicate this to Jock, and so on. And even the facts of the communication don't need to be the same. She may just say, 'these are good', instead of 'these won't kill you.' But, the main point, and one you refuse to acknowledge in your criticism of the performance model, is that a performance is necessary in order to continue the culture of tomato eating.

    The memeinthemind, the thing in a BRAIN that you so ardently champion, won't tell a soul a thing.

    "Say, can I have some of your purple berries"
    "Yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now Haven't got sick once Prob'ly keep us both alive"

    - Wade

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