From: Chris Lofting (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 16 May 2006 - 14:40:39 GMT
Mimicry is built-in to the neurology that we share with other life forms,
but a major difference between us and our monkey cousins is they cannot
detect MIME - we can where that detection reflects the development of our
imagination from our complex neurology.
Thus there is a scale of development of 'mirror neurons' that ultimately
transcend all life forms bar us.
That takes us into the IMAGINATION of meaning; we see more than is there in
the first place.
The set of basic behaviours such as mimicry is 'built in' to our general
methodology of meaning derivation/communication. What makes a difference is
the development of sense of self where that development follows on from
birth and is detectable through identification of the development of
emotions that need a sense of self to be 'meaningful'.
That sense of self become our 'singular', unique, nature whose properties
and methods are derived form local social dynamics operating WITHIN the
genetic expressions of our particular/general species-nature.
Part of that social dynamic will be the use of imagination and so pretence
and include 'local' universals ('memes') that can seed our behaviours and so
force tighter integration with the local context.
At the level of the neurology, instincts/habits are encoded into the input
areas of our neurology and so conserve energy by allowing context to 'push'
us. At the level of cognition/psychology local 'instincts/habits' can do the
same thing except that a change in context can replace these locals with
alternatives for a different context.
Included in the social will be mimicry of actions that are seen to be
'beneficial' but there in no understanding of the content/intent - just the understanding of 'wave hands like this and that bus stops and I can get on'. Finer details then focus on the requirement to signal the driver if you want to stop the bus but that level of detail can come later (or even not at all!
"I don't know man, I just wave my hands and it like stops!")
The GENERAL 'meme' of 'reflection', of 'mirroring', is exploited at the
particular level such as in show business where it covers vanity, narcissism
etc It covers the actions of some 'star' or 'king' where they pick their
nose in some unusual way and others around them copy it anticipating that it
is in some way 'special' where as the truth of the matter the king's arm
went to sleep and so the action to suddenly pick his nose was 'extreme'! -
Due to his position, no one dare question the reason, they assume it is of
special purpose and so copy it.
These GENERAL programs are products of the methodology in deriving meaning
and included in that methodology are artefacts that encode a sense of
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
> Of Robin Faichney
> Sent: Tuesday, 16 May 2006 11:09 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: RS
> Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 10:13:35 AM, Kate wrote:
> So long as the letters exist on a page or screen, and there are people who
> can understand them, why doesn't it make sense to say that these letters
> represent information? Of course they lose that meaning when there are no
> human minds to interact with them, but that doesn't mean that they are
> 'meaningless' in the sense that an undiscovered boulder is meaningless.
> What's the difference between letters on a page where there are no minds
> whatsoever, and an undiscovered boulder?
> I think that it is very easy to imitate a tune, without any conceptual
> apparatus. Just as it is easy for children to imitate our hand movements
> or facial gestures. But I'd agree that there are different levels of
> imitation. At one level we just imitate the details, without any proper
> understanding of what's going on, and at another level we imitate the
> functional structure of the behaviour, and may even vary the intermediate
> details. And, as you say, it's the addition of this context, this
> understanding (metarepresenting what's going on: seeing it *as* something
> that has a context) which lifts things to the memetic level.
> Just imitating the details, without any proper understanding, will often
> get the job done, and isn't that what matters? A proto-human sees another
> doing something and later does something very similar, with the same
> result. It was learned not by individual trial-and-error, but by
> imitation. A way of making pots, for instance. Why shouldn't that count as
> a meme?
> Best regards,
> Robin mailto:email@example.com
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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