Re: memetics-digest V1 #880

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 04:26:53 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 23:26:53 -0500
    From: "Francesca S. Alcorn" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #880
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    >So what is the sense of this group regarding the level of volition existing
    >in the relationship between memes ( or memeplexes) and individuals or groups.
    >It sounds as if some here are organized by a cluster of memes leading to the
    >belief that we are free to choose the memes we are host to?

    I am toying with the idea that we *don't.* Even empiricism is a
    meme, and appeals to a pre-existing brain structure. On the PBS site
    that someone posted earlier about Ramachandran, there was an article
    by another neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinas who says there is no such
    thing as free will. I've come across this idea a couple of different
    places in the last few months. I think it is an idea whose time is

    >For those of that persuasion is it assumed that we are conscious of all of
    >the memes that have staked out mindspace in a host?

    Freud said that the world would be a better place if we were able to
    operate more on conscious motives than unconscious. Buddhists say
    that we must learn to be truly present, and attend to every choice
    that we make. Both seem to suggest that it is more natural *not* to
    be aware of the memes, and that it takes effort (either therapy or
    meditation) to be more "conscious.

    >Or is there a developmental aspect to this such that at some levels of
    >development an individual or group is pawn-like relative to memes, but where
    >in higher developmental stages the cosignoti can pick and choose their noetic

    Now you're talking Piaget, Erickson etc. I think there is a lot of
    relevant stuff out there, but that is an entirely new thread all in
    itself. Certainly as more parts of the brain come on line we are
    able to subject incoming memes to more and varied filters, both
    biological and learned.

    >My impression is that one might have a better quality of life when they
    >believe that that can choose there memes. But I see so many examples of
    >people who believe their thoughts, feelings and behaviors are organized by
    >certain ideas, or beliefs when from the outside it appeara that they have
    >been in service to something they knew not of.

    How about: One might have a better quality of life if one has a
    broadly integrated empirical meme filter.

    >I have come to suspect that some clusters of memes have evolved in such a
    >way that some memes organize the individual or group in ways that they are
    >conscious of, while the more powerful memes lie hidden and influence in
    >insideous ways.Some aspects of alcoholism might me an example.

    Psychology is full of "unconscious" motives. And everyday it seems
    like someone comes up with a new one. :)

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