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> (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>
The point is that IMHO you're being reductive to the point of
absurdity in order to argue for the genetic determination of culture, which
goes against the whole point of memetics.
>> That's a bit like saying that because you observe the sun rise
>>set, it must be going around the Earth.
<Well, at least i observe! I haven't read any explanation from any
> you why different people select different memes.
> So, maybe i'm wrong, but at least i don't shut my eyes.>
I said context is all important. Socio-cultural factors are
important in the decisions people make, and the cultural trends they follow,
or don't follow. Family structures are important also. There's lots of
work on this kind of thing, e.g. Cavalli-Sforza's work on cultural traits.
<Well you yourself wrote about 'transmitting' of memes, you still
> the answer to my question between what else than brains memes get
Look, I'm not disputing that people (and thus their brains) are
important parts of the process of the development of culture, all I'm saying
is that I don't think that memes reside in brains. I believe this thread
began because you were trying to make the point that DNA/Genes determine
culture through determining the brain. One way to dispute this simplistic
reductionism is by questioning the presence of memes in brains. That's all
I've been trying to do by making the case for the artefactual meme (or
G-meme after Derek Gatherer's ideas).
Take your example of memes from Ancient Greece, as I think it shows
what I mean. That greek ideas of democracy, for example, disappeared for
hundreds of years only to reappear much later on, and could not have
happened if memes were transmitted purely between brains. Such memes
required a form of storage that allowed for long periods of disinterest and
non-transmission, and being in written form allowed that. What made those
memes begin to spread again and more widely than before was not a product of
individual choice, but of social circumstances that made notions of
<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?>
In seeing a simple line from genes to brains to memes to culture. Part of
the basic point of memetics is that culture is, at least to some extent, off
the leash from being determined by the genes, and may operate by its own
processes, which may in turn operate according to an evolutionary model akin
to the replicator theory of natural selection.
> > 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.>
There are things like diffusion research, cultural traits research.
Derek's done some of this, as have others on the list. I personally haven't
yet, although I intend to do some news diffusion/framing research in the
future to try and tie memetics into my discipline (media/journalism
How can I put it.... what I'm talking about in contrasting
individual people to a culture, is akin to the difference between
interpersonal communication and mass communication. Both are forms of
communication, both involve human beings, but they are not the same, and the
same rules do not apply in those different circumstances. I think it's fair
to say that the same goes for the difference between individual interaction
To refer back to the Greek example, it's also a bit like the
differences between Athenian democracy and mass democracy.
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