Re: A Question for Wade

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Sat Nov 24 2001 - 15:11:20 GMT

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    Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 10:11:20 -0500
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    Hi Joe E. Dees -

    >if the meme does not reside in the
    >patterned configurations of your neurons and synapes between
    >episodes where you voice your position, exactly where DOES it

    The meme itself is only the material outside- that particular cultural
    material made by the memetic process, in exactly the same way there is no
    car _inside_ the factory.

    When you say-

    "it is also true that they can only intentionally mutate (where noise is
    not the reason) within a host."

    - I do not agree. I think the noise introduced in the _use_ of a meme
    (when an attempt at utilization is made after some sort of observation)
    is the main and only reason there is mutation, because, once observed, a
    meme, if it is being used, is being used by a certain skill-set. And,
    people have these skill sets in _highly_ varying ways. Mutation is a
    product of distribution, in the same way a sentence gets jumbled being
    passed through a line.

    The meme of Beethoven's Piano Sonata is almost unmutable by me, since I
    cannot use it, beyond listening to others' performances of it, and I can
    only distribute it by voicing opinions or by physical conveyance of a
    recorded version. And that would not mutate it in any significant way,
    even though my observation of it and my knowledge of it would certainly
    mutate it if I _could_ perform it.

    The skill set required to use a meme is, I suppose, to follow up on
    another query I had, the memeti-sexual component, if you will, since it
    is a partnering with the meme, producing an offspring, when gestation
    (performance) can occur. I am, at the moment, memeti-sexually
    incompatible with sheet music....

    (Do the most successful memes therefore utilize the most ubiquitous
    skill-set? IMHO, yes.)

    When there is a commonality of interpretation and observation, among
    musicians of a school, or among cultures, then the skill sets are similar
    (same environment populated by the same species yields same behaviors).

    It is meaningless to speak of a meme within the process of mind. The meme
    is the artifact. Everything else is performance/use. (Those patterns of
    synapses are the skill sets.) And the mind and the body, in their often
    unmanageable symbiosis, are the users.

    And, while I'm here, it is my philosophical position that the memes of
    art and science are the most pure, because they are the least culturally

    - Wade

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