Re: Precision of replication

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Thu 19 Jun 2003 - 01:10:09 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Meme definition (long ago)"

    On Wednesday, June 18, 2003, at 06:22 PM, Lawrence wrote:

    > Wade, please bear with me -- could you explain succinctly what you
    > mean by
    > 'cultural venue'? I suspect you have done so many times in past posts,
    > but
    > truth be told, I have had a hard time following the elaborate and
    > esoteric
    > discussions between you and Richard and Dace. My apologies.

    Elaborate? Esoteric? No wonder neither of us impressed the other....

    Cultural venue is extended from 'venue'- the scene of any event or action- but, it is also more closely described by the good ole french phrase 'mise en scene'- the arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted- mostly because cultural venue also requires arrangement. The french 'mise en scene' is literally 'what is put into the scene', and I've always liked that.

    When you put a bed in a scene, one expects sleep, or sex, or both. The cultural venue is an arrangement of properties that elicit a performance. When you said- "Might the interdependence and interaction of the memes within a memeplex not serve to _increase_ the fidelity of the transmission?" that impacted to the definition of the venue because the venue is precisely that- the set of properties which are distinctly ordered and commanded to ensure the fidelity of performance. You were very semantically close to the function of the venue.

    Regardless of how elaborate and esoteric an explanation I've supplied about stages and sets and churches and so forth, no one but Kenneth has understood the importance of the properties of the venue- but it is one third of the operation of cultural evolution, as its part as a player cannot be denied.

    It is an analog to the physical environment involved in genetic evolution, a requirement as well of speciation and selection and development.

    When you introduce a meme- in your jargon- what you are doing is performing (or placing an artifact, which is the result of a performance) into a venue- initially altering the venue, and, by the performances that may follow, altering the performances within. This can be as simple as, in Richard's example, changing the width of an exit from a stadium.

    But, indeed, all cultures require a venue, because all cultural interaction requires a performer and an observer, and they cannot exist in two dimensional space or time. The venue is this space, but it is also the cultural milieu, and it is also a controlled environment, made to ensure, through repetition and experience and alterations, performances of continuing fidelity.

    It is a form, if you will, of prediction, the venue. This is a fact Richard has continually chosen to ignore.

    - Wade

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