Re: Selfish meme?

From: Dace (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 05:22:49 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Selfish meme?
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 21:22:49 -0800
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    Lawrence wrote:

    > Hi, Ted -- fortunately, 'that memes are or may not be 'selfish' is not the
    > whole idea of memetics. 'Selfish' implies motive, and to ascribe motive
    > to unthinking things seems useless.

    You sure about that? Motive is a physical concept. It's all about force
    and movement. Psychological motive is no different than a lot of other
    terms that originated in the lingo of our physical experience. Far from
    being confined to human intelligence, motive is universal to life. To be
    animate is to have motive and to express it, though at first these would
    have been indistinguishable. Bacteria are surely unthinking, but they're
    self-organized, self-referent in their behavior, and self-propagating, in a
    word, self-determined. Life itself is self-generated, as are all species
    (evolution not creationism) and all individuations of them, including
    ourselves. Not only are humans self-existent, but so is the culture that
    emerges from our self-conscious interaction and the self-propelling memes
    that carry it.

    > Now, if we were to say that memes -- like
    > everything else -- simply do what they do (a cybernetic view)

    In cybernetics everything is conceptual. Outside of our imgaination,
    there's no computation or information or simulation, no "virtual reality" or
    "cyberspace," just wires and electrons and silicon. It's a magic show.
    Aside from matter and physics, nothing's in that box that you didn't put
    there with your mind.

    Bacteria, on the other hand, are real. They exist intrinsically. Their
    motive arises from themselves. Not merely nature but self-nature. Neither
    supernaturally nor physically determined. Both forms of mechanism,
    theological and genetical, are corrupt. Both evade the simple fact that
    being alive-- thinking or not-- means being oneself.


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