RE:What/Who selects memes?

From: salice (
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 23:56:49 BST

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    Subject: RE:What/Who selects memes?
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    > Why are memes necessarily 'selected by the brain'?

    Because there is nothing else they can be selected by and there is an
    huge amount of real life examples which show that the brain selects

    Just look a few mails ago, a text on memetics and terrorism giving
    advises not to spread certain memes. This is just another example.
    It's everywhere.

    ( Your point was, that memes aren't stored or selected by the
    brain so one example who shows the negation proves your theory wrong)

    > 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.

    How do you know that raw food is potentially dangerous in certain
    circumstances? Because a meme-input reached you, for example the news
    of a person who died from it. Your brain calculates how important and
    believeable this information is and makes conclusions. If this meme
    survives it's because it has something to do with you as a dna-being.
    If dna constructs the body the way that it can't handle certain food,
    this is what makes the meme survive. So the human brain selects it,
    based on the body's abilities which is a result of its dna.

    > In what way are you remembering and using memes?

    I remember words, sentences, tunes, pictures, body-language of other
    people and so on.

    I use language, body-language, facial expressions and so on. I don't
    think these were given to me by my dna-nature only. They are a mix of
    copies from others and my personal "style".

    > I dare say you are remembering
    > and using concepts, ideas etc.

    Those too, but these are causes from outside-memes and personal
    beliefs too.

    > These things may well contribute to the
    > memes you exhibit in your culturally learned behavior, but that doesn't mean
    > that those ideas _are_ the culturally learned behavior. you're confusing cause

    Culturally learning happens with the help of memes. Babies try out
    words, facial/body expressions and look at the reactions, they copy
    what happens around them. It's all about memes.

    > and effect. Culture doesn't live in the brain. It lives in human societies

    Human society is a collection of brains and communication between
    them. So culture lives in brains.

    > Well, it is the result of something in my head, but not necessarily any
    > reproducible structure.

    Not the structure is reproducible but the concluding meme is.
    If you say something which i haven't thought of before and it
    convinces me my brain structure is surely likely to change. It won't
    look like yours but the resulting meme is going to be saved in both
    of these structures in whatever way.

    Even if I don't agree to some idea it's probably still going to be
    included in the structure. But i won't try to make other people
    see it like this. So i select. And so do you.

    > The meme is there, in the writing, not in any hypothesized
    > concomitant mental indefinable somethingness.

    Yes, the meme is in the writing. But you wrote the writing, so you
    selected which words to use, you decided to build certain sentences.
    You selected the memes. And you did this in your brain, or not?

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    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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