Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 18:04:01 GMT
> on 5/22/03 1:05 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org at email@example.com
> > They also *may* have a primitive subsonic language. But is it an
> > instinctual collection of calls, like dolphinsong, which never
> > changes, or can creativity be involved, like in whalesong, which
> > does change? That decides whether or not we may be able to consider
> > it to be a language; for now, the jury is still out.
> Are you claiming no language, no memes?
> Mentalist memetics would seem to claim the humans have a class of
> neural entities that other animals do not, namely memes.
> Neuroscientists haven't found any such things. They know we've got
> more neural tissue than apes, etc. But physically, the tissue is
> pretty much same old stuff. There are not little
> possible-meme-thingys in our heads that are missing in cats, dogs and
> apes. Or is it that animal brains are just stuffed full of memes but
> there's little or no way for them to get out?
> I'm embarrassed to admit that this line of thinking didn't occur to me
> when I picked Aunger's neuromemetics apart.
I'm claiming that communication is indeed necessary, and further, communication that is not merely instinctual, but which allows for the creation and communication (transmission plus reception) of novel sign- strings, but for an arbitrary and by common agreement (not instinctual) symbol system to be created, learned and taught requires self- conscious awareness; in other words, the brain has to be of sufficient size and complexity to become recursive, in other words, for self- conscious awareness to emerge. Of course, humans have created many such systems. Most animals are not, I believe, capable of symbolicity; thus, their brains possess memories, but not memes, as it is the symbol-referent association that is communicated. What passes, in most cases, for understanding human commands is purely stimulus- response conditioning (the clever Hand phenomenon), but, in some cases where the Godelian threshhold is breached and cognitive recursivity is achieved (such as in humans and the great apes, as measured by the mirror test), true communication, discourse and dialogue become possible.
> William L. Benzon
> 708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A
> Jersey City, NJ 07302
> 201 217-1010
> "You won't get a wild heroic ride to heaven on pretty little
> sounds."--George Ives
> Mind-Culture Coevolution: http://asweknowit.ca/evcult/
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> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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