Re: What/who selects memes?

From: salice (
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 16:30:40 BST

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    Subject: Re: What/who selects memes?
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    > No, I dispute this. There's a huge amount of real life examples
    > that show that people do a lot of thinking
    > - but that's not the same thing.

    Yes thinking and meme-handling is not the same but it both happens in
    the brain.

    > >Just look a few mails ago, a text on memetics and >terrorism giving
    > >advises not to spread certain memes.
    > Yes, but that text advises that certain behaviours should be avoided.

    I don't know whether you read the text but it advised to avoid
    spreading certain memes.

    - Avoid giving a positive rationale for those responsible for
    the event
    - Avoid repetitious or excessive reporting of the event
    - Avoid sensationalising the event

    And so on. That has all to do with memes. You can for example decide
    to sensationalize the event therefore spread this kind of memes or
    you decide against it and not spread the memes. You decide.

    Shortly after the WTC attack, there were pictures floating around
    from pakistani people dancing in the streets. Some TV stations showed
    these pictures some didn't. They decided to spread this meme or not
    based on a thinking process in their brain.
    > >How do you know that raw food is potentially dangerous in >certain
    > >circumstances?
    > But Stone Age people _didn't know_, that's the whole point.

    Sure they knew, they wouldn't have survived otherwise.
    Some might died, but others learned from them who died, they received
    this meme and survived because of it.

    > The ones who cooked food had longer and more reproductive lives
    >than the ones who didn't - but they were probably completely
    >oblivious to >

    If there ever had be the first family who cooked food and
    it showed that they had better lives then this meme "cooking
    food concept" spread because other people realized that it's wise to
    cook food, they selected this meme and let it spread. I could make up
    a hypothetical meme "Drinking petroleum is good" and even life
    accordingly to it, but the meme wouldn't spread very far because
    people would see that i died from drinking petroleum so their brain
    wouldn't let this meme survive and spread. Obvious.

    > >Human society is a collection of brains and communication >between
    > >them. So culture lives in brains.
    > No, human society is a collection of people and the artifacts they leave behind.

    I agree.
    Humans have nevertheless the possibility to destroy artifacts. If
    they do this it's because a thinking process in their brain made them
    to. Their brain selects whether a meme (in this case an artifact)
    should survive. People also decide whether an artifact becomes an
    artifact. There are a lot of authors, painters, musicians etc. but
    a lot lower percentage of works which survive. And People select.

    > >look like yours but the resulting meme is going to be >saved in both
    > >of these structures in whatever way.
    > Excatly, the meme isn't in the brain.

    I haven't said that. I wrote "the resulting meme is going to be saved
    in both of these structures in whatever way". So it's in the brain.
    Read before you answer.

    PS: I gave you examples how i store memes and handle memes in my
    head just like everyone does, you didn't reply to them, i guess
    because you can't find an argument against it.

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    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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