Re: Tell

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 16:43:03 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: transmission"

    On Thursday, May 22, 2003, at 11:53 AM, Richard wrote:

    > I take the position that any thought, belief, attitude, opinion, or
    > learning
    > I have may potentially affect my behavior in the future, and that
    > affect on
    > my behavior might, however slightly, increase the probability of that
    > piece
    > of mental information being replicated in another mind, Therefore, any
    > mental information is a potential meme.

    I know that's your position. It's the position of anyone who wants memesinthemind- and they always equivocate, as you do, by calling them
    'potential memes'.

    Well, the performance model does not have potential memes. (And this is not just an economical decision.) As you say above, it is your
    _behavior_ (i.e. performance) that increases the probability of impression to another mind.

    Saying 'any information is a potential meme' is, well, pretty damn sloppy, doncha think?

    Is _any_ piece of protoplasm a potential life form? Don't think so.

    However, saying "any thought, belief, attitude, opinion, or learning I have may potentially affect my behavior in the future" is perfectly clear and understandable, and sits well in the performance model too.

    But, what about that behavior? Nothing in your mind actually really tells either you or anyone else that you _will_ behave. That is the function of the venue, which allows you to behave, with all of your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, learnings, skills, and other memories and physical abilities.

    Walk into a restaurant, and you will not only be expected to eat, but given little other choice of behavior in that venue. Well, unless you're a fashion model, of course....

    And while we're not expected to agree here in this forum, I'm not disagreeing just because I don't want to eat in this restaurant, but I also don't think the menu has to be so strictly vegan as the memeinthemind model wants it to be. The kitchen is much larger than that, and the huge staff is not lazy.

    Bill says-

    > 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.

    - and I'm sure no-one here would be surprised to know that I agree with him, and find that the pleasure motivation is an added bonus the the performance model. After all, I've explored performance _theory_, and so has Bill, but, the memeinthemind model ignores it. Why? Because it can only order off of one menu? Because it denies environment? Maybe, but I'm beginning to think that it is too invested in putting its ghost meme into the pot of cognitive explanation to actually come up with an empirical predictive theory.

    Time to wander the world, guys. There's much more food out there rather than spending time spicing the stew with arsenic.

    - Wade

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