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On Sunday, January 20, 2002, at 06:40 , Philip Jonkers wrote:
> The brain baby, that's where are the excitement lies
> and that's where culture come from.
So you say.
But, in as many ways as you say culture comes from the brain, I can
point to ants and say culture comes from social behaviors, and chemical
signals, and patterned responses. Not much brain to point to, however.
As for 'latent' memes, well, that sounds pseudo-freudian- sort of like
the traits of latent sexualities he pointed at with his cigar.
So I say, if all culture and all memes are outside, part of the
environment, rather than inside, part of the mind, who and what does
what to who and what is very clear, and how the perceptions and the
brains of humans fit into that cultural space is also very clear, with
no latency, either of concepts, or entities, or theories. We do not move
in small tribes on the savanna any more. We move in and around myriads
of cultures. Remove the human from culture, and memetic development is
impossible. Memetic behavior requires cultural environment, just as
speech requires a languaged environment to develop. So, far, no-one is
asking that there be 'languemes' in the brain. No, the genetic
development of the human brain selected for speech and language and
culture as a developmental complexity, totally dependent upon a
sustaining environment. Language in the brain is a potential- the actual
speech itself comes from outside, in the form of phonemes that are
heard, not created internally, that fill and fit, like smells, into
prepared regions of the senses. And memes are not found internally. They
are found and created outside. Where they shall remain.
(The rest is memory.)
What we do with our cultural environment is unique, because we alter it
with memes, expanded forms of the chemical trials, if you will, of ants.
But these memes are in flux. Once altered, once part of the environment,
the evolutionary processes of selection are in play. But there is no
need for additional items to have to find their way inside the mind,
into the brain, set aside in some meme-bank, or anything else. Memes are
out there. They are what we see and what we hear and what we touch, and
what we perceive we can act upon.
If we act upon them, we can change them. If we don't, they fade away.
What is potential is our ability to use them. Just like language. Unless
language is in our environment, it remains unrealized. And unless a meme
is out there, it is nowhere.
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