Re: definition of meme

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 10:56:31 GMT

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    At 01:01 AM 6/11/2003 -0400, Wade Smith wrote:

    >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.)

    I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. Certain cultures encourage and channel creativity and reward members who engage in creative activity while others discourage and punish it. Science is a meme that is about generating and filtering new memes. Democracy exists as process for resolving public policy differences based upon the rule of the majority, but if there were no such large scale differences we wouldn't need it.

    In the last few centuries ideas and new cultural elements have been introduced at unprecedented levels. I don't that is accounted for by our in our genetic makeup. Instead what we have is the flourishing of memes that encourage and promote the generation of new ideas.

    Ray Recchia

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