Re: Fw: sex and the single meme

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 14:50:19 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Fw: sex and the single meme
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    On Sunday, January 27, 2002, at 09:17 , Philip Jonkers wrote:

    >> Could you give me a (behaviorist) definition of what
    >> you consider a meme.

    Memes are behaviors of culture that are replicated, in some
    fashion, after perception, by another.

    They are external activities. Artefacts are products of memes.
    Spoor, if you will. Written passages are products of memes.

    And that's it.

    And it's _not_ a behaviorist definition at all. It's a
    definition that attempts to isolate the meme to its only
    _verifiable_ and _studiable_ location.

    Thus, we don't talk, memetically, about what Picasso _could_
    have done, we talk about what he did.

    We don't drive the parts of the car or the processes of
    manufacturing in the factory, we drive the car produced by the
    these things.

    We don't put our cereal in the clay on the potter's wheel, we
    put it in the finished product fired in the kiln- and we can't
    analyze or 'see' memes in the brain, or use them, in the same
    way, although we can see the processes and the parts, or we will
    be able to, with more and increased fMRI and other studies.

    It is a practical, locational, definition, separate from
    instinctual or autonomic behaviors, although, yes, instinct is
    also a process in the meme factory.

    - Wade

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