Re: Kate's book/ "recessive memes"

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 25 Mar 2005 - 17:04:58 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Kate's book/ representations"

    --- Bill Spight <> wrote:

    > Dear Scott,
    > > If people learn all the roles of a game even if
    > they
    > > only play one, these other roles are stored in
    > memory
    > > and can be recalled later when the situation
    > warrants.
    > > "Unexpressed" yes, but not expressing oneself is
    > > something that need not require a genetic analogy.
    > "If the situation warrants" was not exactly what I
    > was talking about.
    > People are often shocked at their behavior when this
    > sort of thing
    > occurs: E. g., "I'm sounding just like my mother!"
    Kate talks a little about "scripts" in her book. I wonder how these "scripts" intersect with the "roles" you're talking about. When we are growing up we might subconscious pick up on scripts from parents and these are so deeply entrenched within us that we are not currently ware of them, but they could influence our behavior nonetheless. If someone's mother acted a certain way in given situations, I wonder if that person might act that way in a similar circumstance...

    But these scripts or roles are stored aware in memory and the right cue might elicit them. You are right that we might be shocked by their influence when it happens.
    > I agree that calling such memes "unexpressed" does
    > not require a genetic
    > analogy, but it fits with that analogy. External
    > circumstances (external
    > to the cell) affect gene expression, as do other
    > genes.
    So human behavior and gene activity both depend upon external circumstances? Not quite earth shattering.

    Isn't the notion of gene "expression" nothing more than a useful anthropomorphic shorthand?
    > > There are times when I'm tongue tied during a
    > > conversation and...ummm...can't quite remember
    > what
    > > would be best to say until later. I have
    > difficulty
    > > expressing myself at that moment. There's probably
    > > lots of dormant memories we all carry which await
    > the
    > > proper cue to be "ecphorized" (cough, cough).
    > These
    > > "traces" are currently not expressed. Are they
    > > recessive? Are those that are expressed dominant?
    > >
    > I think you want to address that question to Kate,
    > not me. In fact, I
    > hope that she will respond to the rest of your note.
    > > I also contrasted truth value to
    > > dominance/recessiveness using the flat earth
    > example.
    > Is the belief that the earth is flat a meme? In
    > modern times, I suppose
    > so, but what about in the pre-Columbian Great Plains
    > of North America?
    > Among land-locked peoples the earth is apparently
    > flat, and if people
    > were not taught otherwise, that belief was
    > widespread without cultural
    > transmission.
    Good point. One might look at the belief as a meme if it takes one person in a group (say Great Plains natives) to point it out to another person and that person would say "Now why haven't I ever thought about that before? Doh!" But, I think what you say is important in that many people can converge upon the same idea just because of shared external enviromemts. The earth looks kinda flat to me from my view out my window. If I lived on the beeach and could stare at the horizon for extended periods of time I might say
    "Hmmm...looks sort of curved...I wonder." When I present my findings to my village they pelt me with rocks and tell me to go live with the squirrels.

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