Re: memetics-digest V1 #916

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 03:43:21 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: ality"

    Received: by id DAA08652 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sat, 2 Feb 2002 03:49:05 GMT
    Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 19:43:21 -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: memetics-digest V1 #916
    Precedence: bulk

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

    >Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 02:54:34 +0000 (GMT)
    > John Croft <> Re: memetics-digest V1 #916
    >Joe, Ted, and Keith on the activity of memes to
    >duplicate themselves suggested that
    >> >To be replicated is necessary but insufficient to
    >> >qualify as memetic. Memes are not passively
    >> >replicated but actively self-replicate. The mere
    >> >repetition of words doesn't mean memetic
    >> >propagation is occurring. Memes exploit our
    >> >conscious interaction in order to replicate
    >> >themselves from one mind to another.
    >I would strongly disagree. Memes come in many kinds.
    >Some memes do invest a great deal in "actively self
    >replicating". Others do not. Still others invest
    >almost nothing, "piggybacking" on the active ones.
    >It was Blackmore's contribution to recognise any
    >replicable learned behaviour has the character of a
    >meme. "The bacon is in the fridge" from the moment it
    >is repeated by a second person is a meme. Whether it
    >gets repeated a third time, or a fourth depends upon
    >other circumstances, some of which the mem has "under
    >control" and others which are contextual and
    >environmental. But this is the same about gene
    >duplication also. It is the meaning behind the meme
    >that will determine the number of repetitions it gets.
    > For instance, if you are living in a community of
    >baconophiles "The bacon is in the fridge" would be
    >duplicated many times. But the same contextual
    >fashion is found in "bacon is evil" also operate. In
    >a community of "bacon is evil" people, it would only
    >duplicate if bacon were present, and a believer were
    >wishing to let otyhers know. Both are composed of
    >sub-memes. "Bacon" by itself is a meme, if
    >duplicated. "Fridges" certainly are memes in their
    >own right. A whole culture of "bacon" and "fridge"
    >using can evolve to duplicate both. This operates in
    >the same way that termite fishing operates as a meme
    >amongst Gombe chimpanzees.
    >Thus Ted wrote
    >> >In order for this to occur, the words must involve
    >> >some kind of interpretation ("bacon is evil") and
    >> >not a mere statement of fact ("bacon is in the
    >> >fridge"). If it's merely factual, the repetition
    >> >of the statement can be accounted for according to
    >> >normal, intentional use of language.
    >and Keith replied
    >> Good way to put it. You can't call everything a
    >> meme or it becomes a useless word.
    >Again I would disagree with you both here. Everything
    >that is culturally duplicated and diseminated is a
    >meme. (Not just statements with interpretation - for
    >instance - a sung melody is a meme, a gesture (eg
    >shaking hands in greeting) is a meme, washing potatoes
    >in the sea before eating them is a meme. It is the
    >fact of duplication that makes it mimetic. If not
    >duplicated, but learned individually with every
    >generation, or if "instinctual" and passed genetically
    >then it is not a meme. "Fridges", "bacon" and putting
    >"bacon" into "fridges" are all mimentic, specific to
    >one culture, and all "seek" replication.
    True enough; if we restrict memetics to value-statements and exclude statements of fact or logic, even if they are widely propagated/replicated, we have changed the definition of what constitutes a meme (which I consider to be a nonrandom (that is, meaningful) and noninstinctual or noninnate (that is, culturally or societally specific rather than species-mandated) datum that may be stored in neuronal/synaptic configurations or artifacts and presented or represented in behavior or artifacts). Truth-value should not be a determinant of memetic status; significance, contingency and replicability should be.
    >Do You Yahoo!?
    >Everything you'll ever need on one web page
    >from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts
    >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 : Sat Feb 02 2002 - 03:57:43 GMT