Re: Precision of replication

Date: Wed 18 Jun 2003 - 04:35:42 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "RE: Precision of replication"

    From: "Scott Chase" <> To: Subject: Re: Precision of replication Date sent: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 23:18:07 -0400 Send reply to:

    > >From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    > >Reply-To:
    > >To: <>
    > >Subject: Precision of replication
    > >Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 22:59:49 -0400
    > >
    > >
    > >Wade said:
    > > > Replication, mutation, and selection.>>
    > >
    > >
    > >Richard said:
    > > > There is no replication because you have similar, not identical,
    > > > performances. Replication means identical. The four-note motif, on
    > > > a relative scale, is the most identifiable meme in Beethoven's
    > > > Fifth. Your "observational tests" depend upon memes in the minds
    > > > of the observers. Also, culture evolves in many other ways besides
    > > > observers becoming performers. A reader of "Taming of the Shrew"
    > > > may write a musical version which is
    > >then
    > > > performed by an entirely different set of people who read the
    > > > book.
    > >Also,
    > > > you have far too much of your mechanism in your vague,
    > > > all-encompassing "venue", which may as well be God for all its
    > > > scientific usefulness.
    > > >
    > > > You are essentially saying that, given time and a culture, people
    > > > will behave similarly to the way they've seen others behave, but
    > > > different.
    > >You
    > > > in no way explain these differences or predict direction. It's not
    > > > a model.
    > >
    > >
    > >In our view of memetic dissemination, the replication need not, and
    > >will rarely be identical. Yet we call it memetic and this view seems
    > >to work well in our work.
    > >
    > >Why is dissemination nor identical? Because each person (or group of
    > >people, for we also think of memes as being able to disseminate to
    > >and through groups) will have his own criteria for acceptance which
    > >may require some modification of the meme prior to acceptance. So as
    > >they disseminate, memes also tend to mutate. The 'power' of the meme
    > >lies in part in its ability to withstand such mutation, i.e. to be
    > >accepted whole and as close to identically by the recipient.
    > >
    > >Notwithstanding this lack of identical dissemination, prediction of
    > >acceptance is possible, particularly if one can also model the
    > >acceptance criteria of the recipient. Such modeling is possible, but
    > >we do not consider the methods for doing so to be part of the field
    > >of memetics.
    > >
    > >Does this fit with your thinking, Richard? Wade? Others?
    > >
    > >
    > I could be misreading him, in which case there's been no replication
    > bewtween our minds, but itseems Richard is holding that replication
    > implies identity, not similarity. He has written a book on memes so is
    > an authority.
    > The so-called "meme" of the "brain" is hardly identical between
    > people. The people may spell brain the same, but what the word means
    > to a trained neuroscientist is probably different than what it means
    > to a cultural studies major or some swordfisherman from Cape Cod. The
    > concept of "brain"probably varies for an individual through their
    > lifetime, say from their first glance at a picture in a elememtary
    > school textbookto perhaps what they learn in colege psych classes to
    > late what hey may have long forgotten from these classes due to
    > disuse.I fail to see anything sufficiently "selfsame" (obligatory
    > Deesian lingo) across individuals or within indiviaduals to qualify as
    > beng identitical. Similarity could be a stretch in itself.
    What is closer to identical, although itself not entirely identical (nothing being absolute - on principle), is the relationship between the neural meme-encodings and the cognitive gestalts, or complexures, to which they accommodate and are assimilated. This is what allows both of them to produce transmitting/communicating behavior by an actor that is recognizeable by an observer/recipient as an encoding of the selfsame meme (just as I could recognize the message "If you but believe in Jesus, your soul will be saved" whether it was transmitted/communicated via one language or another - say, English and ASL (American Sign Language) - even though each involves entirely different performances - if I were coversant in decoding both encoding forms). And why? Because the selfsame meme/message is in each case learned, stored, accessed, intended and meant.
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