From: Richard Brodie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 23 May 2003 - 22:28:31 GMT
> What exactly is "non-menatlist" memetics? Do you have a model of
> evolution that does not involve minds?
<<I can't speak for Bill, but what I understand as his (and my) meaning
of 'non-mentalist' is simply any theory of cultural evolution
(memetics) that does not demand any specific or necessary unit of mental agency called the 'meme' which resides in a brain.>>
Can it enter the brain at all, or is that prohibited? If your non-mentalist
meme can enter the brain, how long is it allowed to stay before it "resides"
there? In Nevada, it would be six weeks. ;)
<<That is to say, any theory that requires the mental non-residency of
the quantum memetic unit, which is, by convention of definition, to be
called the meme. The smallest possible replicator.>>
A meme is not the "smallest possible replicator." It is a cultural
replicator by anyone's definition, and an information replicator involving
minds in the mainstream memetics definition. I don't know where you came up
with "quantum unit."
Genes are also replicators, but they are not memes (unless genetic
engineering is involved!).
<<A theory of memetics that involves only artifacts is a non-mentalist
theory. The performance theory is another. Gatherer's memes, or
G-memes, are non-mental. Bill's phemotype (cultural phenotype) theory
How can a theory involve "only artifacts"? You mean there are no people
around? This is all very unclear to me.
A phenotype, by definition, is the machine the replicator builds that works
to get the replicator replicated. It is not the replicator itself. So Bill's
theory fits right into mainstream memetics unless he maintains that minds
are not involved in making performances.
<<All these theories get most of the work done, but some of them are
trimmer and lighter on their feet.>>
I don't see how any of these theories can begin to explain cultural
evolution without involving information copied to and from minds.
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