Re: Kate's book/ "recessive memes"

Date: Fri 25 Mar 2005 - 02:56:40 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Kate's book/ "recessive memes""

     Dear Kate and Everyone:

    This has been a really interesting discussion. I just wanted to throw in my two cents. Unexpressed certainly makes more sense than recessive, but I think there is a third way of looking at this. In Gregory Batesons work on play he discovered that interactions between systems evolve. He found that certain stable patterns of behavior are selected for in any interaction between systems. I think that there is a danger of subtle reductionism when analyzing things in terms of memetics. This reductionism occurs when the evolution of ideas is viewed in a sterile manner, without looking at the interaction between organisms. An example of this sort of reductionism is the failure of memetics to look at interspecies communication in a meaningful way. Gregory Bateson in his books Ecology of the Mind, and Mind and Nature: Towards a Unity discovered many of the principals of memetics through human dolphin interactions.

    The point is that things that are seen as being caused by an unexpressed meme are sometimes the interaction of thinking systems, which form a larger system in which a new behavior arises effecting the growth of the two interacting systems. If a system of interaction between the two systems remains stable it will persist. In this way these interactions form the basis for memetics. Reading what I've written it sounds hopelessly underdeveloped. Really I was wondering if anyone on this list has looked at Gregory Bateson and his work, I can't really develop these ideas myself; I'm bogged down in my work. I'll try and send a passage from Gregory Batesons book in the next few days if anyone is interested. Keep up the discussion.

    -Matthew Broudy

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