Re: meme as catalytic indexical 2nd try at posting

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 29 Jan 2004 - 13:55:24 GMT

  • Next message: M Lissack: "Re: meme as catalytic indexical 2nd try at posting"

    At 02:13 PM 28/01/04 -0800, you wrote:
    >Danny is of the neurons in the mind school:
    >"I think when referring to memes, we actually are
    >referring to a pattern in the brain that can be
    >transferred to another person via translation to
    >language or some other symbolic representation, and
    >that can then be transmitted from the second person to
    >a third person without losing much informational
    >content (copying fidelity).... So a meme is an
    >abstract concept that can survive
    >transmission/translation from one brain to another. A
    >successful meme is one that does so frequently."

    Could you attribute this?

    It is a correct statement, memes are abstract concepts (information) that are encoded in patterns in brains. They can also be encoded in media besides brains, though it is only in brains that they have real world effects.

    Incidentally, we improve copying fidelity as much as is needed for memes by the normal approaches of redundancy and error checking/correction. Some memes are copied from generation to generation with extreme accuracy, for example the year Columbus sailed to the West Indies. the rules of common sports, and the procedure for changing a tire (tyre) are almost certainly known to everyone on this list.

    Keith Henson

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