Re: New Memes Book

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 19 Mar 2005 - 19:44:32 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: A time for war."

    --- Keith Henson <> wrote:

    > At 11:53 AM 18/03/05 +0000, Chris Taylor wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >What meme 'transmission' should be shorthand for is
    > a mix of phenotypic
    > >copying and convergent evolution; e.g. I learn a
    > behaviour or internalise
    > >a thought, but in doing so I try (ahem) to
    > construct an internal copy that
    > >works like the thing I have seen, from my own
    > internal stuff, i.e. the sum
    > >of my experiences and internal interactions to
    > date. If we both see an
    > >artefact it will produce superficially similar (on
    > testing)
    > >representaitons of it in our minds (not dissimilar
    > to a jelly mould). But
    > >to imagine that there is anything remotely similar
    > in an absolute sense is
    > >ridiculous.
    > Then we could never play games with rules and we
    > would never know what a
    > light at an intersection might mean or what side of
    > the road to drive on.
    If we follow similar rules that's one thing, but how do we know that sufficient similarity exists at the mental level to look at this as an exmple of a discrete neural meme?

    As for "games with rules" how do we know that Brits and Aussies look at the game of Merkin football the same way as Merkins do. Sure they can learn the rules and figure out how to play the game and at the level of overt behavior we might say there's a certian degree of replication so to speak, but wouldn't Brits and Auusie perceive the game of football diferently via the lenses of rugby and soccer and perhaps associate aspects of football with the sports they have been more familar with due to their cultural milieu?

    Chris has offered his opinion of Iced Tea coming from a distinctly British POV. I could drink a nice tall refreshing glass of Iced Tea at a restaurant out of a mason jar*. Chris might see my behavior and against his higher sense of Kultur decide to follow suit. That glass of iced tea is going to possibly mean something different to him than it would me. The notion of "iced tea" might be stored differently in his brain than mine, due to our different backgrounds. It will be woven into his mental tapestry differently perhaps. Is
    "iced tea" thus replicated in his mind due to his viewing my behavior?

    You might be looking at Chris and I dribnking iced tea from another table. First I drink my tea. Chris follws suit. You assume replication of behavior due to what is overtly observable. Can you assume discrete packets of info have flowed from my brain to his and have been replicated and stored there? The behaviors are strikingly similar. Are the notions in each of our noggins? I'm enjoying my iced tea with 6 sgars and squeeze of lemon. Maybe Chris is politely fighting the urge to run to the restroom and vomit.

    *- Yes a mason jar. So what?!

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