never wanting to grow up

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Fri 23 May 2003 - 13:32:32 GMT

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    On Thursday, May 22, 2003, at 04:53 PM, Ted wrote:

    > If I write "Tinkerbell" on my
    > computer and then email it, and you read "Tinkerbell" on your
    > computer, does
    > that mean Tinkerbell has traveled, via computer networks, from my mind
    > to
    > yours? Not at all.

    But this is precisely what the memeinthemind model claims happens. It claims the meme for Tinkerbell has been transmitted from one mind to another, and that, indeed, if the technology were available, we could find 'Tinkerbell' in both minds.

    > All that's required is that we interpret written language the same way

    Yes. But examine that 'all' of yours. Only the performance model explains it. The language we speak is, after all, a cultural venue all its own. We are born with the ability to observe and then perform a language, but the language itself is an expectation of the cultural venue, and not of any individual mind. This is another nail in the coffin of the memeinthemind model, because there is no meme for english. English is the set of memories that fill in the language acquisition area of the brain, and these memories are supplied, not from other brains, but from performances and artifacts contained within a cultural venue.

    > When people freely determine their beliefs, they're dealing with
    > ideas, not
    > memes. But when an idea exploits a weakness in an individual's mind,
    > the
    > power of determination has shifted from person to idea, in which case
    > we may
    > call the idea a meme. The idea that black people have lower IQ's is
    > thus a
    > meme because it replicates from mind to mind by exploiting the
    > unconscious
    > desire to justify continued poverty among nonwhites. While the racist
    > meme
    > builds its own momentum, the counter-argument has to proceed under the
    > power
    > of conscious intelligence. This is why we're so often helpless in the
    > face
    > of irrational beliefs. Their advantage is that they self-replicate,
    > while
    > rational beliefs do not.

    This would seem to be a proposal that all memes are false.

    - Wade

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