Re: A Question for Wade

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun Nov 25 2001 - 07:14:50 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: A Question for Wade
    Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 02:14:50 -0500
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    >From: <>
    >Subject: A Question for Wade
    >Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 22:12:08 -0600
    > You have voiced the opinion that there is no such thing as the L-
    >meme (internal), and that only G-memes exist, whereas I see both
    >as stages in the memetic lifecycle. While it is true that memes
    >can only replicate between hosts, it is also true that they can only
    >intentionally mutate (where noise is not the reason) within a host.
    >my question to you is that, 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
    >reside? Are you claiming that you dream it up anew, out of whole
    >cloth, every time, and that there is no such thing as MEMory, or
    >that memory does not subserve the funtion of memetic storage? In
    >such a case, exactly what it is that memory is doing? The fine-
    >grained evidence for the particular synaptic configuration storing
    >particular memes may be beyond our present technological
    >capacity to produce, but it would seem that the logical case for
    >them is well-nigh irrefuteable.
    If memory serves correct the "L" in the L-meme you are so enamored with
    comes from it being associated with Aaron Lynch. Looking at Lynch's website I find this following passage to be quite
    interesting. Lynch says:

    (bq) "For all works listed on these pages, the word "meme" is expendable: it
    can simply be replaced with less formally defined terms such as "idea,"
    "belief," etc. or with more formal terms such as "culturally transmitted
    memory item," "memory contagion," or "mnemon contagion." Thought contagion
    theory does not require the word." (eq)

    So, Joe, the difference between the L-meme and a mnemon would be?

    I see now that Lynch ( references
    Cherkin's "Toward a quantitative view of the engram", though he
    distinguishes his usage of "mnemon" from Cherkin's and states that his own
    usage is independant of Cherkin's. BTW, the term is also used by J.Z. Young.

    What's so special about the "meme" term? Why can't we just use "idea",
    "belief", or "concept" to say the same thing? As Ernst Mayr says of the

    (bq) "It seems to me that this word is nothing but an unnecessary synonym of
    the term "concept"." (eq)


    Mayr E. 1997. The objects of selection. PNAS (94): 2091-4

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