Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 07:25:25 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: Wade's last week's phrase of the day..."

    Received: by id OAA00898 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:15:10 GMT
    Message-ID: <000201c171cd$3366e420$4386b2d1@teddace>
    From: "Dace" <>
    To: <>
    References: <>
    Subject: Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying
    Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 23:25:25 -0800
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400
    Precedence: bulk


    > <Animals do indeed have a kind of culture, a kind of language, a
    > kind of
    > > intellect, a kind of ego. But it's not what we mean when we use those
    > > terms. The proto-language of chimps is incomparable to the
    > > self-replicating
    > > mental system that binds together human culture. Even among mammals,
    > > which possess a general-purpose intelligence, there's no abstract
    > > within which the real one is modeled. There's no memetic environment in
    > > which memes could thrive or fail.>
    > >
    > Well that's your opinion, but I think acknowledging the possibility
    > of a pre-cultural, or proto-cultural state in other organisms is important
    > in trying to pin down exactly what we mean by human culture.

    We can speak of a proto-culture among primates, or even ants, but it's not
    the same as human culture. The elements are there, but it hasn't "come to
    life," so to speak. It's the seed, not the tree. Not so different from the
    proto-capitalism of antiquity as compared to the true capitalism of
    modernity. Memes are only really *memes* when they've germinated under the
    heat lamp of human consciousness and, after getting buried, begin to work
    their magic. Only then are they carriers of culture. If the replicating
    behavior or concept is strictly a function of unreflective mentality, then
    it's just biology. There's no need to call it a "meme." Just a simple,
    organic habit.


    P.S. I'm off tomorrow for Thanksgiving. Won't be able to respond to any
    more posts till next weekend.

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 20 2001 - 14:20:58 GMT