Re: Abstractism

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 18:33:27 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Abstractism
    Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 10:33:27 -0800
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    > Ted:
    > > An abstract description of memes would involve elements that are
    > > found among all memes. It's no different than describing anything
    > > else. We can abstract the qualities of trees and thereby arrive at a
    > > general definition of trees. But if you want to describe a particular
    > > tree, you'll have to leave the abstractions behind. Same goes with
    > > memes.
    > Okay, I can see your objection. What I had in mind however was to
    > abstractly regard one meme which may reside in multiple hosts. Each
    > host has somekind of neural representation of the meme which is highly
    > non-unique as Derek pointed out.

    If our brains contain representations of memes, then memes evidently exist
    somewhere other than the brain. Where are they? Behavior, artifacts? As
    Henri Bergson pointed out a century ago, in his book *Matter & Memory*, that
    which represents the world cannot simultaneously be a part of the world.
    Representation is not a property of physics. The brain is a physical
    object. Therefore representation does not exist within the brain. Memes
    are mental, and their presence is reflected in the brain insofar as the
    brain facilitates all mental activity.

    > Moreover it is likely to be a function of
    > time as well as you constantly update, modify and increase your
    > knowledge database. With abstract description of one particular meme
    > I meant a description captured in language (or other mode of
    > communication) which may be more or less the same in all of the hosts
    > at hand.

    In other words, the meme itself is in our minds, while the neural correlates
    in our brains vary from person to person.


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