Re: Logic

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Tue Aug 14 2001 - 00:03:29 BST

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Logic + universal evolution"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Logic
    Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 19:03:29 -0400
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    >From: "Dace" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Re: Logic
    >Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:36:22 -0700
    > > Ted,
    > >
    > > At 10:54 PM 8/9/2001 -0700, you wrote:
    > > >When he first coined the term, Dawkins located "memes" in the brain.
    > > >brain is reducible to genes, then memes are functions of genes. But if
    > > >brain is informed by past, similar brains, then memes are patterns of
    > > >neurotransmission that follow habitually from previous, similar
    > >
    > > Interesting.
    > >
    > > As I read this, you are stating:
    > >
    > > 1. if the brain is reducible to genes, then memes are a function of
    > > 2. if the brain is informed by the pre-existing brains (not only genes,
    > > assume), then memes are 'patterns of neurotransmission (whatever that
    > > that follow habitually from previous and similar patterns.
    > >
    > > I'm wondering why the need for 'similar patterns' is inserted. Surely,
    > > you make the distinction between genetically informed states and 'not'
    > > genetically informed, there must be a brain state 'informed' by such
    > > natural phenomena as light/dark, hot cold, positive charge/negative
    > > etc. Is a 'pattern of neurotransmission' a meme if a similar pattern is
    > > verified in another brain, and something else (enviro-eme) if not?
    > >
    > > I hold that genes and memes are differentiated by substrate, not
    > > 'functional role'.
    > >
    > > Mark
    >The question is why some memes are so successful at colonizing brains
    >compared to other memes. What gives them their power? According to the
    >morphic model, the more often an organic structure is replicated the more
    >powerful its resonance becomes. If a whole lot of people think a
    >style of clothing is cool, then other people are liable to feel that way as
    >well. This would explain why some memes propagate so well regardless of
    >factors that make them somehow more "fit." The terrain of human
    >consciousness is far different from the earth. In the real world you've
    >to be smart and resilient to survive. In the human world, even pet rocks
    >are suitable for propagation if enough people think they're cool.
    >On the other hand, pet rocks didn't last very long, did they?
    >Btw, Sheldrake himself doesn't say much on memes except to point out that
    >they don't exist atomistically. Instead they're arranged in nested
    >hierarchies. So, for instance, the meme for a particular tune is nested
    >within the meme for the pop star who sings it, which is nested within the
    >meme for pop music in general. The meme for genetic determinism is nested
    >within the meme for deterministic thinking in general, which is nested
    >within the meme for nature-as-machine, which is nested within the meme for
    >anthropomorphosis. That is, we tend to project ourselves onto nature. In
    >modern times, this manifests in a projection of human technology onto
    >nature. The idea that nature has a machine-like predictability has served
    >to resurrect the ancient meme of "fate," which has since manifested in
    >of genetics.
    This nested hierarchy concept as used by Sheldrake is connected by him to
    Koestler's holons isn't it? I kinda like those "Chinese box" diagrams
    (circles within circles) he uses as visual aids. Aren't those like Euler
    diagrams in set theory?

    Nested hierarchies and holons (a la Koestler) are probably not necessarily
    connected to Sheldrake's ideas, or better said, Sheldrake doesn't have a
    monopoly on those concepts.
    >Memes take on different guises over time in order to remain pleasing. In
    >early modern times, the preformationism meme took the form of the
    >homunculus, but as our understanding progressed, this meme had to transform
    >into "genetic blueprints" in order to survive. This is where pet rocks
    'If genocentric thinking is wrong, then Sheldrake is right' ain't quite
    sitting right with me. Sheldrake does not hold a monopoly on reservations
    about unabashed genocentrism.

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