RE: Giving a presentation on memetics

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 30 Nov 2005 - 05:02:24 GMT

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    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: RE: Giving a presentation on memetics
    >Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 19:52:38 -0500
    >At 12:04 PM 11/28/2005 +0000, you wrote:
    >>Whets interesting about memes like these is that we give them more
    >>headspace, despite low probability of occurrence, than memes dealing with
    >>far more dangerous things like cars etc.
    >Our psychological traits and behavioral switches were evolved long before
    >the current world with cars in it.
    >The things that get out attention now tend to map into aspects of life
    >that were very important then.
    Yeah, it's interesting that the emotionally relevant topic of fear has emerged on the list, given my present reading of Joseph LeDoux's _The Emotional Brain_. Pretty cool book, though his _Synaptic Self_ is mech more recent and better. He tries to shred MacLean's triune brain mumbo-jumbo, which I think he could have gone further with, but the idea is stupid IMO. Instead of a "reptilian brain", it might be more apt to say we have an aspect of our brain shared with our amniote relatives. That's much less biogenetic and less likely to make me retch uncontrollably every time I hear it mentioned. BTW, cladistically speaking, "reptile" is an artificial and meaningless word. Snakes and lizards are "advanced" in their own respects. Crocodilians are closely related to birds. I've heard mention before that turtles may not be as basal as once assumed and the term "reptile" ignores crown groups like birds (and mammals?) so its "paraphyletic". Cue Wilkins bibliography ;-)

    LeDoux dismantles the triune idea in his own adept manner, but I think the classification issue is very relevant. If "reptile" doesn't make much sense taxomomically, then why apply it to neural structure?

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