RE: the earth revolves around the sun

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 00:21:16 GMT

  • Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: the earth revolves around the sun"

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    From: "Joe Dees" <>
    Subject: RE: the earth revolves around the sun
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    >Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 19:00:58 -0500
    > Ray Recchia <> the earth revolves around the sunReply-To:
    >Hey Wade
    >Here we go one last time on this topic
    >>If someone tells you that "The earth revolves around the sun" in Japanese
    >> >they have behaved quite differently than they would if that told you that
    >> >same thing in English.
    >>No argument. But they have performed this meme in a cultural vacuum- I
    >>don't speak japanese. Their meme cannot be replicated by me.
    >> >You would label these two separate memes.
    >>I would. (At least right now, now that I'm on my meme-is-behavior-only
    >> >If you
    >> >tell someone that "The earth revolves around the sun in English" and they
    >> >pass this information along to someone else in Japanese there would be no
    >> >correlation under your proposed memetic theory and no passage of memes at
    >> >all.
    >>If I performed this meme in english, I would do so only knowing that my
    >>audience understands english to a sufficient degree, and is prepared to
    >>translate my performance, to the best of their ability, for a japanese
    >>audience. I hope that, if I've performed this meme with enough accuracy
    >>and simplicity, that further behaviors of this audience will be fairly
    >>complete replications of this, and thus my meme lives. It ain't the same
    >>meme, as no two things are identical, but, within memetic parameters, the
    >>meme replicates the most that gets understood for replication the best.
    >> >Haven't we been around this circle way too many times now?
    >The problem is there can be no concept of translation with a knowledge
    >based idea under a behavior only version of memetics. There is no
    >corresponding behavior. You have to recognize that what is being
    >translated is meaning. The words "The earth revolves around the sun" in
    >Japanese probably sound nothing like the words in English. And until you
    >point to corresponding behavior then translation becomes a meaningless
    >term. What is translated is meaning or a mentally based meme.
    >Lets stick with English for a moment.
    >Which of these phrases memetically is closest to when you say "The earth
    >revolves around the sun."
    >a. Terra circles Sol
    >b. the planet next inside of Mars spins around a G type star.
    >c. the large body with the humans on it orbits the gravity based fusion
    >energy generator.
    >d. The berth devolves around the bun.
    >If we adopt behavior based meme approach then since "the berth devolves
    >around the bun" involves using the mouth in a similar way then you would
    >have to pick d.
    >Actually though it is a trick question. The real answer is none of the
    >above. The key is 'say'. These are written phrases and under a behavior
    >based memetics you would be unable to relate any of them to a spoken "The
    >earth revolves around the sun because the behavior involved in writing is
    >not the same as the behavior involved in speaking.
    >There are clearly problems that a behaviorally based memetics has in
    >dealing with language and knowledge based memes. A memetics that is
    >incapable of looking examining and recognizing the similarities between
    >differently worded written statements, statements made in different
    >languages, and written statements and spoken words is of limited
    >value. When dealing with memes that can be transmitted easily through
    >imitation a behavioral memetics might be a more accurate method of
    >collecting data but otherwise I see no reason to unnecessarily impose a
    >filter this limited on the field.
    Hear, hear! Memes are semantic (meaning or significance bearing) entities, and any stance that does not recognize this will be unable to model its object. In fact, vastly differing behaviors can and do indeed encode the same or very similar meanings, and this very fact spells the death knell for the perspective.
    >Ray Recchia
    >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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