Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 07:35:13 GMT

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    From: "Joe Dees" <>
    Subject: Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
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    >Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 01:51:07 -0500
    > Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception "Wade T. Smith" <>
    >On Tuesday, January 15, 2002, at 12:30 , Joe Dees wrote:
    >> I hold the "the scientific method is a valid investigatory tool for
    >> understanding our world" meme. Even when I am completely still, it
    >> remains in my mind, and may be decoded into any number of different
    >> behaviors, depending upon the object of study, which share this common
    >> principle. The behaviors (plural) are examples of how their common
    >> motivating meme may be expressed, and it may be expressed in a plethora
    >> of related, but nevertheless differing ways.
    >You cannot show me any portion of this motivation without behaving in
    >some manner to show me. There is no 'may'.
    >Your behavior is the only meme. And I might, or might not, arrive at
    >_any_ sort of memetic understanding about it, unless I attempt my own
    >Whatever expression you decide to use, what you _think_ you are doing
    >does, yes, determine, to a degree, but not totally, what your behavior
    >is. (What you meant to express is not always what you end up expressing,
    >unless your skill level is very high.)
    >I personally like the scientific method- my understanding of it is
    >pleasant to me- and I might just understand, and attempt to replicate,
    >almost all of your behavior, maybe even all of it.
    >But, I might be a person who hates the scientific method, and I will
    >then reject any attempt at replicating your behavior, and, if I am the
    >only person you show your behavior to, your meme dissipates.
    >There is no evidence of your motivation, and no expression of it,
    >without a behavior on your part. If you are lucky and skillful, an
    >artefact is expressed, and some viable culture is available to present
    >it within, where it enjoys a sustaining existence. (Not a cargo culture,
    >for instance, where there is no reference for understanding what you are
    >expressing, and therefore no possibility of replicating behavior, or
    >sustaining meaning.)
    >Whether you think you hold something in your mind that motivates you or
    >not is irrelevant to the memetic progress your idea will make. Indeed,
    >it is quite possible that I will attempt a behavior that is entirely at
    >odds with your motivation. Your behavior is all that is memetic. I will
    >only see what I will see- from my own vantage.
    >Culturally, I might be in accord with your behavior, and accept it,
    >grasping a large content of your expression.
    >But I might not, and, indeed, just be annoyed at your behavior, and chop
    >off your head.
    This digression does not address in any manner whatsoever the essential point I raised, which is the distinction between a single motivating idea and a multiplicity of distinctive behaviors. If behavior was primary, no two differing behaviors could be said to relate to a single cognitive principle, but unquestionably, such relation is indeed the case, where each of the behaviors is a token instantiation of a unifying cognitive type. Pleading metamemes, as if they are not themselves either memes or cognitive in nature, or are somehow exempt from the exigencies under which non-meta-memes must subsist, does not answer the objection, either.
    In fact, there is no answer to the objection, and there was none when cognitive science supervened over behaviorism, as well.
    >- 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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