Re: memetics-digest V1 #880

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 10:30:17 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Recursive def. of the meme"

    Received: by id KAA16044 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:43:12 GMT
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:30:17 +0000
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #880
    Message-ID: <>
    References: <> <> <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Disposition: inline
    In-Reply-To: <>
    User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.23i
    From: Robin Faichney <>
    Precedence: bulk

    On Tue, Jan 22, 2002 at 04:36:39AM -0500, Keith Henson wrote:
    > At 11:26 PM 21/01/02 -0500, "Francesca S. Alcorn" <>
    > wrote:
    > >>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 coming.
    > The non existence of free will has been shown to be an airtight
    > case. Everything including the brain activities that give rise to our
    > minds is either deterministic or random. However, it has also been shown
    > that this makes almost no practical difference. See Marvin Minsky and a
    > dozen other top flight thinkers on this subject.
    > Evolution has wired us up to have the illusion that we have free will, and
    > the full analysis of having or not having free will does not remove
    > responsibility for our actions at all.

    So we might as well believe in free will. In fact, we have to, in order
    to act naturally. Some will argue that it's objectively real, but only
    because they subjectively appreciate the necessity of the concept. I say,
    "so believe in it, don't worry, be happy!" The need to validate (or
    invalidate) everything in entirely objective terms is an intellectual
    malaise. We're emotional embodied beings, so learn to enjoy it!
    (Not you, Keith, I'm sure you already do.)

    > >>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.

    You might know this already, but if you're interested in the relationship
    between Buddhism and memetics you need to read The Meme Machine
    (Blackmore). BTW, I've been focusing on other things -- if anyone knows
    of anything more recent on this, please let me know.

    "The concept of information is the key that decodes mind, matter,
    meaning, consciousness..."
    Robin Faichney -- inside information --

    =============================================================== 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) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jan 22 2002 - 10:51:03 GMT