Re: A Question for Wade

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 00:06:29 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: A Question for Wade"

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    > Re: A Question for WadeDate: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 10:11:20 -0500
    > "Wade T.Smith" <> "Memetics Discussion List" <>Reply-To:
    >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.
    Actually, no; the meme would be equivalent to the idea of mass production, which could be instantiated in factories of all sorts.
    >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.
    The application of some paradigms to other subject matter (such as the evolution paradigm to ideas as well as species) is one kind of instance where an internal and intentional modification occurs without the communication noise factor playing any pivotal part; the construction of a novel melody is another kind of creativity that is internal and intentional. A third is the modification of an existing meaning to lend it novelty or additional or new significance, such as happens in elaborations of existing scientific theories or the production of distinct works within artistic schools. There are a plethora of examples along these lines, comprising the majority of our artistic and scientific culture. Accident and serendipity has not played the sole role here, by any reasonable interpretation of human history.
    >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
    Science is less memetic than art, for it is dependent upon empirical properties for its functioning; it must possess that which art may do without - utility. nevertheless, painting is tird to the color wheel just as music is tied to the hearing range and the doubling frequencies of octaves. Perhaps poetry is the most memetically pure are form, as it depends upon not a physical system, but uses a meaningful system that was originally used to describe, among other things, the physical system under question, and thus is one level of abstraction further removed. In science, I would have to say that mathematics is the purest, as the relations established within it, although they must logically hold, are free from dependence upon any particular referents.
    >- Wade
    >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)

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    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)

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