Re: Selfish meme?

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 04:11:23 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Selfish meme?
    Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 20:11:23 -0800
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    > You may be thinking of the term 'motile' or 'motion'.

    Nope. "Motive" has two meanings, psychological and physical.

    > 'Motive' is a term readily used and understood by psychologists to
    > refer to intent.

    As I stated in my post, the psychological meaning is derivative. The Latin
    root, motivus, means to move. In its most basic meaning, motive means to
    cause motion.

    > > > Now, if we were to say that memes -- like
    > > > everything else -- simply do what they do (a cybernetic view)
    > >
    > > In cybernetics everything is conceptual.
    > You'll have to convince people like Bill Powers that their feedback and
    > control mechanisms are merely 'conceptual.'

    Feedback mechanisms are physical. What we superimpose is the idea of
    information processing and storage. All that's processed and stored is
    electronic impulses. Nothing is being computed except to the extent that we
    interpret the results of all that electronic activity.

    > Or the folks who invented ways of keeping gun barrels on ships
    > steadily pointed toward their targets. Of course, I'll have to agree
    > that contemporary conferences on cybernetics are overwhelmed
    > with an outre' and as far as I can tell unproductive insistence of
    > conceptualization... But this is not the 'real' cybernetics. I refer you
    > also to the pragmatic and important uses to which the work of such
    > cyberneticians as Weiner, Ayres and Beer have been put.

    That's the whole point. Technology is about pragmatics, not reality. It's
    practical to have words for things, including objects we create which have
    no intrinsic reality.


    > > > 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.
    > >

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