Re: urge to strangle II

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Sat 24 May 2003 - 04:47:35 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: Tell"

    On Friday, May 23, 2003, at 08:50 PM, Richard wrote:

    > You just said your criticism of memetics stems COMPLETELY from the
    > fact that
    > you believe no one can show you one. Now you say you can't accept
    > memetics
    > PRECISELY because you can explain culture without memes. Then, in
    > another
    > post, you admitted that your "performance memes" DO interact with
    > minds as
    > part of the "cultural venue." How do you reconcile these three
    > conflicting
    > statements?

    1. I do quite honestly believe that no-one can show me a meme in a brain, and I do quite honestly believe there is no reason to find one there. Your statement of my position was incomplete. Neither you nor the White King's army can show me a meme in a brain, you can only supply a supposition, IMHO a weak one, that such things might exist.

    2. What I cannot accept is not memetics, but the fact that there is a meme in a brain, (again, needing to complete your truncated repetition of my position), and I do not accept that cultural evolution demands a meme in a brain, even taking Dawkins as holy writ. I totally accept memetics- the theory that culture follows darwinian processes and as such requires a unit which will be called a meme. I wouldn't be here if I did not. But I cannot accept that a meme in a brain is the unit itself and as such the necessary and sufficient entity for cultural evolution. I never said that culture is explainable without memes, what I did say was that culture and the darwinian process it follows can be explained without a _meme in a brain_. (Again, attaching my full position to your abridgment of it.) What I do believe is that culture can be explained with a quantum unit that is a performance comprised of a performer and an observer and a venue, and that all three are minimally necessary and sufficient for cultural evolution. I do firmly believe that cultural evolution is not possible with only a meme in a brain.

    3. The meme in the performance model is not a thing in a brain, but the performance itself, minimally described as a venue comprised of its physical environment and a performer and an observer. (Never have I used the phrase 'performance meme' as such a phrase is a tautology, and meaninglessly so. The meme _is_ the performance, not a 'performance meme', or a 'memetic performance', or a 'performing meme', or any other redundant coupling of identical terms.) As a mind is a fully accepted quality of humans, (which I admit, is taken for granted in the model), both the performer and the observer have them. As such, at least two minds are acting within, and part of, the cultural venue, which cannot be complete without them. (When three or more gather in meme's name, he is there....) The meme _is_ the 'interaction' between the performer and the observer and the venue, as the performance, from basic performance theory, is the resultant of all three.

    QED- I can reconcile these statements partially through elucidating your mis-statements of them, and to total competency by the showing above that they are consistent in the model.

    Of course, I can't show that the model is true, but I firmly believe it is a more fit model of cultural evolution than the meme in the brain model, which also cannot be shown to be true.

    There, not one ain't....

    - Wade

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