Re: Blue tie

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Fri 28 Nov 2003 - 20:36:48 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Don't be too sure it's over yet, Keith"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dace" <>
    > The question is at what point the behavior became memetic, that is, when
    it ceased to be a normal function of human interaction-- such as underlings aping the boss to get on his good side-- and took on a life of its own. Until this is resolved we have no clear idea of what a meme is because we can't distinguish it from the background of human culture. This is a major reason memetics is generally not taken seriously, and this problem has been brought about in large part by the big thinkers who wish to reduce the whole of culture to memes.

    << Can we say that it stopped to be a normal function when the behavior ceased to be part of what is normally called ' groupsbehavior ' !? If imititation- behavior, like aping the boss, is part of groupsbehavior_ groupselection, than is what we the call the meme, individual selection, or what Dawkins calls, genetic selection.

    And furthermore, in the case we can 't distinguish the individual choise from the background we can say that the cultural- pool is full of selfisch individuals not distinguishable from what is common in that specific social order. What we see as " groupsbehavior " is nothing more than individuals seeking only their own selfish interests. What we think we see as the " meme " is nothing more than an individual stance of what at that moment is the tendency of a/ the larger group.

    We can distinguish the meme if we cease to accept, and I follow Dawkins on this one, that groupsselection is the norm. For me, it is the individual who does the choosing, although, and I do understand the reasons, that ain 't true either, it is the gene.

    Like I said before, I am afraid we're looking at the wrong marker....



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