Re: Modes of transmission

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 02:36:25 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Modes of transmission
    Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 21:36:25 -0500
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    From: "Wade T. Smith" <>
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    Hi Joe Dees -

    >Memetics is, in a sense, the evolutionary theory of meaning.

    And the means of this evolution is the behavioral meme, through which
    meaning gets transmitted, or doesn't, or gets changed.

    >Because some meanings are more readily passed on than others, and more
    >readily received than others, and meanings tend to mutate

    Just like that.

    >Simply saying 'meaning' simpliciter does not communicate this evolutionary

    Some meanings are transmitted totally and almost perfectly. Mathematics
    is full of meanings like that. So is science. There is little possibility
    that the behavior of expressing (the meme) "2+2=4" will get mutated,
    regardless of countless re-behaviors. So, yes, saying meaning simpliciter
    is quite okay.

    But, when I try to express and transmit my meme, say, of not smoking
    marijuana, at various times I'll need to vocalize, or gesture, and,
    eventually, even amidst the most stoned-out, a simple head shake, or even
    no response at all, will be all that is needed. But, I am not trying to
    get this meme to replicate, I am merely wanting my meaning to be
    understood, and I don't care if they think I'm a nerd, or allergic, or on
    medication, or whatever they want to think about why I am not smoking
    with them.

    Memetic behavior is behavior that wants to see replication, not just
    understanding. Animals understand meanings through behaviors- teeth
    baring among many species is a sign of aggression or defence. But, if I
    want you to take a bicycle ride with me, I need to get you on a bicycle.

    - Wade

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