From: Kate Distin (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 29 Jun 2005 - 18:53:30 GMT
Ray Recchia wrote:
> At 02:59 PM 6/21/2005, you wrote:
>> Ray Recchia wrote:
>>> As I mentioned in the first part of this review, the central focuses
>>> of "The Selfish Meme" is "meta-representations" and their transmission.
>>> "Meta-representations" are abstractions, observations about objects
>>> in the real world removed from specific objects and broadly applicable.
>>> Being able to recognize something like "color" as a separate property
>>> of an object and being able to recognize it in many objects would be
>>> an example of a meta-representation.
>> No - these are just ordinary representations.
>>> "Representation systems" such as language and mathematics, allow
>>> humans to replicate "meta-representations".
>> No - these systems give meaning to representations. We meta-represent
>> when we abstract information from its current representational system
>> and re-represent it in another way. So "two" is a representation in
>> the English language of a particular number. We meta-represent when
>> we realise that we can also represent that number in different ways:
>> "deux" (French language), 2 (Arabic numerals), II (Roman numerals), 10
>> (binary). Meta-representations are representations of
>> representations, thoughts about how things are represented, the
>> movement of information from one representational system to another.
> This is quite a bit different than what I took from the book (and I no
> longer have it with me). What you now seem to be claiming is that a
> meta-representation is a process rather than a thing. It the process of
> comparing different representations in different representation systems
> and modifying them based on those comparisons.
> So then memetic reproduction would be the transfer of those processes?
p. 128: a meta-representation is a representation of "not external
objects or events, but other representations." A meta-representation is
not a process, but a particular kind of representation: one which
represents other representations, rather than something concrete like a
table or even something more abstract like a colour.
> What I took from your book was that a meta-representation was a higher
> level representation that could be applied broadly to a number of a
> objects. So for example, "blue" would be a meta-representation because
> it was a property that applied to a number of different objects. Alex
> has not only the ability to recognize "blue" and identify it, he can
> also recognize the concept of "color", which I thought would have been a
> meta-representation of a meta-representation.
"Blue" is just a representation like "table". The test is: what is the
content of this representation? Only if its content is another
representation does that make it a meta-representation.
I'm going to break there and reply to the rest of your message
separately, or this is going to get unmanageably long.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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