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>Some developmental types suggest the 'self' is not intact until somewhere
>in the fourth year.
As the mother of a three-year-old, I think there is memetic stuff
happening *way* before that. Especially when you talk about memes on
a behavioral level. Maybe the way to operationalize this is to ask
when is the first time you demonstrated something for your child and
they copied you. No. That won't work, babies imitate facial
expressions at birth, it is hardwired in. Perhaps certain types of
behavior then. Manipulating objects, maybe? Is memetic behavior by
definition learned and not hardwired? If so, how can you
operationalize that distinction?
I have always had a distinction in my own mind between behaviors and
memes. When it's inside your head, bouncing around certain neural
pathways, interacting with other memes, then it's a meme. Whatever
behavior you emit - be it spoken, written, acting (bashing someone on
the head) or creating artifacts, those are all expressions of the
meme. Part of the *process* of replication, but not a meme itself.
I suspect you guys have hammered this out before, and have good
reasons for including behaviors and artifacts as memes. Could
someone give me a *brief* (please, I beg you) explanation why this is
so? Has anyone ever worked out a working model of the different
steps in memetic replication, (using possible parallels between
biological models - sexual and asexual reproduction). I think that
human minds might be the first environment in which sexual
reproduction of memes could take place. Although there is some
variability in communication, it does not even come close to what
happens in the human brain. Is there a meme gamete or a meme zygote?
If you are going to eliminate the word meme, and talk only about
replicators, then there must be patterns and processes of replication
in all replicators.
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