From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 26 Mar 2005 - 19:09:01 GMT
At 08:20 AM 26/03/05 -0800, Bill wrote:
>>It seems to me that when Blackmore and other writers fail to
>>distinguish between memes and beliefs/other attitudes towards memes,
>>they are begging the question in favour of their view that there's no
>>distinction between memes and the mind. Whereas if memes are
>>essentially information then of course they are things that minds
>>deal with, not all that there is to a mind.
>Interesting point. :-)
>I remember reading an article by Blackmore where she made her claim that
>the mind is made of memes and thinking, "Where the hell did that come
>from?" That claim is on one extreme of the nature-nuture debate, and
>rather curious for a theory based upon an analogy with genes!
I think it is worth considering Marvin Minsky's _Society of Mind_ where he
makes the case for mind being a collection of a huge number of "agents,"
each one too simple to be considered intelligent.
Minsky's agents are formed, shaped, programmed, whatever out of
experience. Experience includes learning cultural elements, memes. So in
his view, memes are the information used to program mental agents. The
totality of organic structure (analogous to hardware and an operating
system) and the mental agents programmed by non memetic experience and
memes is what we call mind.
I can make sense of Blackmore's claim in this light. For certain a mind
without the agents programmed by memes wouldn't be very interesting.
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