Re: Abstractism

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 07:35:58 GMT

  • Next message: Stephen Springette: "Re: Meme bonding"

    Received: by id HAA03049 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 28 Jan 2002 07:40:14 GMT
    Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 23:35:58 -0800
    Message-Id: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain
    Content-Disposition: inline
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
    X-Mailer: MIME-tools 4.104 (Entity 4.116)
    X-Originating-Ip: []
    From: "Joe Dees" <>
    Subject: Re: Abstractism
    Precedence: bulk

    ('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)

    > "Dace" <> <> Re: AbstractismDate: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 10:33:27 -0800
    >> 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.
    Bergson was wrong on many things; his book DURATION AND SIMULTANEITY, in which he attempted to refute Einstein's relativity theory, was a source of great embarassment to the philosophical discipline. In fact, I have a picture of a tree on my wall. It definitely represents a tree; are you saying that the tree demolecularized when the picture was taken? The meme IS the representation; when eleven people all have learned the mass-energy conversion equation (that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared) in physics class, all of them have encoded tokens of single meaningful informational type, or meme, each token stored in such a manner that it's coding, in the context of the coding of the rest of the individual's cognitive storage (it's gestalt context) represents that, in the individual, which is generically referred to by the equation e=mc*2, and that equation is recognizeable by all eleven (providing they use standard english and mathematical notat!
    ion) as a description of what they have learned. They wpild recognize the equation, and that recognition would prompt recall.
    >Representation is not a property of physics. The brain is a physical
    >object. Therefore representation does not exist within the brain.
    Representation is not found in the matter and energy per se, but in their meaningful configuration. According to your formulation, since everything in the universe is matter/energy, representation can exist nowhere in it. Is this the position you are representing?
    > Memes
    >are mental, and their presence is reflected in the brain insofar as the
    >brain facilitates all mental activity.
    The brain is the material substrate for the emergent mind. Are you trying to assert, like some of the medievalists, that our minds exist in some timeless, platonic realm, and are only beamed into our heads, say our pineal glands, by the Great Radio Technician in the Sky? Puh-LEEEZE!
    >> 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.
    Close, but each meme can still mean different things to different people. The meme that there is bacon in the fridge would mean different things to three people sitting at a table if one was Muslim, another vegan and a third a secular humanist omnivore.
    >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)

    Looking for a book? Want a deal? No problem AddALL! compares book price at 41 online stores.

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jan 28 2002 - 07:53:23 GMT