Re: What/who selects memes?

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 18:44:45 BST

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    Subject: Re: What/who selects memes?
    Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 10:44:45 -0700
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    Hi, Vincent

    > Hi,
    > <Okay. Here's a meme for you: "God is dead."
    > > Read it? Look at it again. Got it? Now look away and try to remember
    > > it... Still there? Fine.>
    > >
    > Sorry to butt in, but here's where you miss Derek's point
    > completely. The only demonstrably consistent feature of "God is dead",
    > the words, and the letters they are composed of. There is no identified
    > physical structure that you can demonstrate exists in my mind and yours
    > relates to this. That we both use our brains to process that phrase is
    > certain, but when we're talking about memes, we're talking about units of
    > replication that should retain their form when being transmitted
    > they don't replicate). There's no evidence for a mechanism in the brain
    > that does that, indeed it's been well argued (by Derek in the journal)
    > it is highly unlikely such a mechanism exists. All one is left with that
    > can retain its form, and can clearly be transmitted is the artifact of the
    > written phrase "God is dead".

    I don't see how minds can be removed from memetics. It's within the context
    of our mental biases that some memes succeed while others don't. Let's
    assume Derek Gatherer has indeed demonstrated that memes cannot exist within
    brains. Does this prove that memes don't exist in minds? Not at all. It
    simply shows that minds are not reducible to brains.

    Salice's basic point is indisputable. If memes don't replicate from mind to
    mind, then the whole theory is shot.


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