Re: A Test

From: salice (
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 22:19:23 BST

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    > No, I'm making the same point as about the publisher example.
    >Socio-cultural context is crucial in whether something becomes a
    >meme or not, and the socio-cultural context heavily influences the
    >decisions people make, even when they regard those decisions as
    >autonomously produced.

    I agree.


    (1) people build culture
    (2) different people in a culture select for different memes
    (3) it's not important whether a person thinks he's done a decision
    consciously or unconsciously, the thing is that he made the decision
    in his brain

    >A bit like those studies
    >in the US showing that a high proportion of people would induce
    >electric shocks strong enough to kill a person if someone in
    >authority told them to do it- even if they could hear the screams of
    >their victim.

    As you write, a high proportion would do it, SOME would not. This is
    the difference i'm referring to.

    >Well, in terms of culture, I don't think potentiality is enough to
    >define a meme. I made the point in the post you're replying to:

    Potentiality is a way to define memes. A meme doesn't have to exist
    in current culture to be a meme. A lot of ancient greek "memes" got
    forgotten in the middle age, later on they were found again in books
    and became part of culture.

    > That's a bit like saying that because you observe the sun rise and
    >set, it must be going around the Earth.

    Well, at least i observe! I haven't read any explanation from any of
    you why different people select different memes.

    So, maybe i'm wrong, but at least i don't shut my eyes.

    > By postulating that memes
    >pass between brains, you're presuming some kind of neurological
    >process that you can't see by watching people.

    Well you yourself wrote about 'transmitting' of memes, you still lack
    the answer to my question between what else than brains memes get

    > All you can see is
    >external behaviours, and at this point that is all we have to
    >observe and analyse.

    Well i do this, and from my observation it is obvious that people
    react differently to memes even in a given culture.

    I don't know why i'm the only one who sees this. I mean, my ideas
    about how memes might be stored in the brain and that is speculation
    and maybe it's all wrong.

    But that not everybody goes into celibacy, commits suicide or
    whatever when they heard about the idea the meme is something that
    everyone can see. Or not?

    And that not everyone spreads the same memes can be seen quite easily
    in reality too, so what's my problem?

    > By saying that, in effect, memes are these
    > outward behaviours and artefacts, it allows us to ask questions of
    > how such things spread, whether that be a ritualistic behaviour
    > (e.g. the mexican wave), a clothing fashion, or a sacred text etc.
    > It gives us things to study that we know exist.

    Well i wish you would do this!

    But when i read the replies to my point that memes get selected by
    people i just get the standard "It's culture" reply.

    > Perhaps by observing such
    > things we may come to some general ideas about cultural evolution, a
    > bit like Darwin coming up with ideas about natural selection based
    > on observations of speciation in the Galapagos, before genes and DNA
    > were known.

    Go for it!

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