From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 23 Apr 2005 - 17:23:01 GMT
I've just entered the chapter "Memes as a state of
mind" in Aunger's book _The Electric Meme_. He
regained some repect he lost with his botched biology
earlier when he made delineations based on his focus
towards substrate specificity and structural
equivalence. I think I'll clean the slate, leaving a
"blank slate" (sorry Pinker) so to speak, and make a fresh start at judging his ideas. In this "Memes as a state of mind" chapter he makes some good points about the chasm between number of genes and the number of neurons and greater possible number of connections. I have admiration for his appreciation of the implications of phenotypic plasticity. Like his arguments for transmitted versus evoked culture earlier in this book, I empathize with his opening the door for the importance of transmitted cultural stuff in a plastic brain. I'm just a curmudgeony meme agnostic who will have to be dragged the rest of the way kicking and screaming.
On page 187 he talks about internal generation of
brain activity in a way reminding me of Hebb's central
process stuff. He even talks of reverberation inside
the noggin. Given the role of Lorente de No's
reverberatory circuit concept in the thought patterns
of both Hebb and Lashley I find this quite amusing.
This stuff definitely complicates matters for the
psychological behaviorists, but I still think that the
behaviorist stance wrt internal replication in
memetics is an important theoretical barrier to cross.
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