Re: definition of meme

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Sat 24 May 2003 - 14:02:57 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Wade T. Smith" <> Your wondering in an objecting way about the persistence
    > of performance is, well, perhaps more intuitive than reasoned, however.
    > Culture has a long established pattern of maintaining its venues for
    > the single purpose of ensuring the similarity of performances within
    > them. So, it isn't the persistence of the individual performance that
    > is important for cultural evolution, but the persistence of the
    > recognizability of performances- their relational connections with
    > previous performances.

    But for to get the ability to ' recognize ' you need a mechanism. Seeing tears on one 's face has to be recognized as salt water of laughter or pain. Behaving in the opposite is not only inappro- iate but in many cases totally social unexceptable. Why not settle the score for something like ' mirror neurons ' !?

    > (In the cultural venue of the baseball game, the very fact that there
    > is still a diamond base path and four bases, and a pitcher's mound, and
    > an outfield, and two dugouts, and foul lines, and bullpens, and
    > spectator seats- all these things are the cultural memory of the game
    > in concrete form, in the venue of performance, and, as such, this venue
    > commands the performance of a baseball game. Such is the information
    > supplied by the venue, and it is this sort of information that the
    > memeinthemind model ignores.)

    In other words, what is the venue can be seen as the grundnorm !? Conceded by definition and agreed upon by consensus !?

    > Saying that the unit of cultural replication needs to reside in the
    > mind negates every and all influences from the venue itself, and, while
    > I'm sure no-one thinks a billboard is actually performing, as far as
    > the venue is concerned, it is nonetheless playing.

    You can surely drag performances/ thoughts and etc out of it.... The venue results into and within performances.

    > The idea of the cultural venue is perhaps even more important than the
    > idea of the performance as the meme, because we are all, by nature,
    > players on a prepared stage. Analyzing that prepared stage is just as
    > important as analyzing how the minds of the observers and the
    > performers operate.

    I agree, moreover I see an important role for genetic biased memetics e(a)ffects, but that is my prerogative...

    > But, as Joe and others have stated, there may well be a need for a
    > memetic agency in the brain- perhaps as cultural animals we have need
    > of other mechanisms than just language and society and memory and
    > ideation- and perhaps fMRI or other modalities will find them- but for
    > me, what we know and can understand about the brain is sufficient to
    > explain the development of culture, and the performance model takes
    > what is mind at face value, so to speak, with no added necessities,
    > especially imaginary ones with no certain mechanism.

    I already tried to eloborate this in my writing ' Mirror neurons, the emergence of memes and the existence of culture.' The memetic agency could be the ability to recognize the charac- teristics of a particular venue to control and for answering to a specific situation.



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