Re: Verbal memeticism

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 01:18:54 GMT

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    > "Dace" <> <> Re: Verbal memeticismDate: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 11:48:19 -0800
    >From: Joe Dees
    >> >
    >> >I think this is too broad a defintion of 'memetic.' Verbalizations, in my
    >> >view, are only memetic if they have self-dissemination and
    >> >characteristics. Techncology, disseminated and adopted can, yes, have
    >> >memetic properties, as can symbols/icons/logos, works of art, etc.
    >> >
    >> >Lawrence
    >> >
    >> What is memetic in technology is not the physical material out of which
    >technological artifacts are comprised (although physical properties plays a
    >great deal of constraint in this 'matter';~), but the meaningful (as
    >functions have meaning - designed for a particular task or tasks)
    >configuration into which the materials have been fabricated, and which can
    >be apprehended, understood and replicated by an observer, just as it is not
    >the sound waves in speech themselves which are meaningful (carrier), but the
    >meaningful configurations in which they are shaped (coded content), and not
    >the pencil lead (rather than, say, ink) that memetically matters, but the
    >glyphs into which they are written.
    >Configuration of matter by itself doesn't make a "car" or a "telephone" or a
    >"clock." Outside of a mind, these things consist of structured assemblages
    >of atoms. Technology involves a schism between mental form and material
    >form. There's no property of "telephoneness" that infuses the matter whose
    >shape and function triggers the concept of "telephone" in our minds.
    >Objects of technology can't come into being on their own but must be stamped
    >with the abstract form found in the mind of the manufacturer. The material
    >form, being dead, makes no effort to maintain itself in the matter currently
    >configured to its specifications. The phone doesn't care if its gets
    >Living form is neither abstract nor material. In other words, the mind is
    >neither idea nor brain.
    While it is true that, in the absence of any sinngebungers (meaning-bestowers) such as humans, that the universe as a whole would be bereft of meaning and reduced to brute facticity, a particular configuration of material which represents the actual instantiation of a subjective ideation (as an actual Dodge Viper could seamlessly serve as the referent for the object in the sentence 'I wanna Dodge Viper) does indeed possess meaning - the meaning we bestow upon it via symbolic reference to it. This is in the realm of semiotics, amd semiotic meaning is found in the tripartate relation between the signifier (bestower of meaning), the sign (the name for the signified, such as 'Dodge Viper) and the signified itself (the actual Dodge Viper); the interplay between these distinguishable yet inseparable three comprises the structure of signification. Remove any of the three elements, and the remaining ones do not suffice.
    >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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