Re: transmission

From: William Benzon (
Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 14:58:39 GMT

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    on 5/22/03 9:39 AM, Wade T. Smith at wrote:

    > On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 09:34 PM, Joe wrote:
    >> But that is what's wrong with the performance model; it cannot explain
    >> the situations it is tasked to explain, such as how a performance type
    >> is
    >> retained between expressed tokens of it.
    > It not only explains this, it also explains all facets of it- the
    > _cultural venue_ is what retains the expectations of the performances,
    > as well as the memories of both the performer and the observer.
    > Again, you fail to understand the performance model and argue from
    > ignorance.

    So, think of a performance as a cultural phenotype. As I've said, the performance includes not only the publicly observable aspect, where we find the memes, but the neuro-muscular activites of all the performers. That being so, a performer will have some memory of the performance, though not necessarily an exact or complete memeory (in fact, almost certainly not). In particular, the performer has a sense of more or less pleasure or displeasure.

    To the extent that a performance was pleasurable, the performer will be motivated to repeat it. The new performance -- which is thus a new phenotype -- may be more or less like the previous one. No doubt it will share a bunch of memes with the previous one. Thus the "survival" of a meme depends on its being in successful performances.

    That's how it is in the biological domain, no?

    As before, for details see my 5.18.03 post on "music, memes, and performance."

    William L. Benzon
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