Re: New Memes Book

From: Kate Distin (
Date: Mon 21 Mar 2005 - 16:49:33 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: New Memes Book"

    Kenneth Van Oost wrote:

    >But to get a clear cut of what is the representation of the thing, don 't
    >you need the ' pre- existing- info ' about the thing, whatever that might
    >be, to call what you set under your car ' representations of round things '
    >That spoked wheels are phenotypic effects of a lot of memes, ok, but
    >ain 't got the ' form ' additional ( memetical) info in itself !?
    >And do possess thus, in that respect spoked wheels not ' memes ' !?
    >Spoked wheels can surely be seen as being realizations, technological
    >that is, but from my POV they are also representations.
    >We had here in Belgium about 25 years ago a hype about a certain type
    >of vest, called Millet. Very expensive stuff.
    >Those, were ' realized ' I presume in the same way other jackets were
    >fabricated, but what they represented was totally different.
    >They stood for richness of those who wore them; they stood for a kind
    >of sub- cultural aspect of our schooldays; we were somewhat puzzled
    >by them ( what made them so special); they were even the reason why
    >kids stole them. The memes we got in those days about those jackets
    >were trigged by what they ' represent ' not merely why and how they
    >were ' realized '.
    >Wear Armani or Lagerfeld, sprinkle yourself with Chanel 5 and people
    >will get a different idea about you.
    >Maybe you ' realize ' in wearing the stuff a certain aspect of your perso-
    >nality, but what they ' represent ' will be, for others, more important.
    >So wearing Armani is ' not ' the phenotypic effect of the memes for
    >wearing Armani. This is not in itself memetic, but what wearing Armani
    >' represent ' is !?
    >Do I get it right !?

    I've talked about spoked wheels in particular in my replies to Bill. Wrt clothes - I've been pondering this for a little while now, and come to the conclusion that I don't have enough of an understanding of fashion to know the answer. As I've said already, for me memes have to contain information: they have to be representations of the portion of information that they replicate. Now, I'd always assumed that clothes do not represent any information. I guess I've seen them as phenotypic
    - or to put it differently, behavioural. Certainly there's a sense in which they are phenotypic, in that they are the result of a designer's meme for that clothing item. But it hadn't occurred to me that they might also represent something; that they might be worn in order to convey a particular message, and seen that way too.

    I think I still *tend* towards seeing them as behavioural, but I'm certainly open to persuasion. I'm actually a bit of a cultural freak when it comes to fashion, as I was brought up in a home where it was just not important. More than that, in fact: not even noticed. Partly this was due to financial constraints, but more significantly the result of parental values. Consequently I just don't get it. My friends buy new clothes and I think things like, "but your old ones aren't worn out yet." So you can see that I'm just not qualified to respond to your suggestion! But I'm still pondering it . . .


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