RE:What/Who selects memes?

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 19:08:44 BST

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    From: "Derek Gatherer" <>
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    Subject: RE:What/Who selects memes?
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    Why are memes necessarily 'selected by the brain'? Memes can be selected
    by whatever selective forces are in the environment - eg. cooking food is
    selected because eating raw food is potentially dangerous in certain
    circumstances etc.

    In what way are you remembering and using memes? I dare say you are remembering
    and using concepts, ideas etc. These things may well contribute to the
    memes you exhibit in your culturally learned behaviour, but that doesn't mean
    that those ideas _are_ the culturally learned behaviour. you're confusing cause
    and effect. Culture doesn't live in the brain. It lives in human societies
    (and in a few non-human societies, but not to the same luxuriant extent).

    The example you give of me writing 'memes aren't stored':

    you say

    a) it is the result of a structure in my head
    b) therefore memes are in my head

    Well, it is the result of something in my head, but not necessarily any
    reproducible structure. A totally different structure may exist in your
    head that makes you write the same sentence. So what is this 'structure'
    that is so difficult to define? There isn't one - when you and I write the
    same sentence, what we have in common is that we've written the sanme sentence
    - that's all. The meme is there, in the writing, not in any hypothesized
    concomitant mental indefinable somethingness.

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