Re: definition of meme

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 05:01:40 GMT

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    On Tuesday, June 10, 2003, at 08:58 PM, Scott wrote:

    > There would, thus, be antecedent influences upon the invention or
    > innovation
    > and memory would play a role.


    > memory and culture are still intertwined.

    Right again.

    The main conditions of creativity are legion, but, I would contend, and the performance model would concur, that there is nothing inherently cultural or even _memetic_ about the creative process. One human animal can be creative without any culture whatsoever. (Granted, this thought experiment would be impossible to construct in reality, but, there is no need for memetic transfer to generate a creative act. It just happens that all of us humans on this planet _are_ moving within definite cultural venues, and as such, perform our creative acts
    _there_, with not too many other places to go.)

    As Joe so often intones, the cognitive gestalt does a lot of work for culture. (Culture loves having such a willing and intelligent worker, in fact, couldn't keep going without at least two of 'em....) So, while the cultural venue supplies conditions and parameters and experiences, and the maintenance of memories and conditions and parameters and experiences with artifacts and propaganda, the actual creative agent is either the performer or the observer or both, not the venue itself. As such, memetics is not an investigation of the creative process, but an investigation of the results of this process, as distributed in performance.

    > How isomorphic would this fragment in [...]'s brain be to a fragment
    > in mine

    I more want to know how we could ever know. What fragment? Where? Nietzsche? Do we have his brain? I know what Strauss did with Zarathustra, and then what Kubrick did, but what else do I know? And when did I know it? How do we ever know what comes from a brain? Even in Joe's golden hour of full scale fMRI cognitive mapping, what will we ever know about what was in Nietzsche's brain?

    - Wade

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