Re: Words and memes

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 07:40:23 GMT

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    From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    Subject: Re: Words and memes
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    At 04:33 PM 6/02/02 -0800, you wrote:
    >> >If "meme" is taken to be equivalent to "idea," then it becomes culturally
    >> >universalized and ceases to have meaning. On the other hand, if
    >> >"meme" is equated with "learned behavior," then it becomes biologically
    >> >universalized and also ceases to have meaning. Any term that can be
    >> >collapsed into another term is just an abstraction. It has no existence
    >> >outside of the word we've made up for it.
    >> >
    >> >Ted
    >> >
    >> >
    >> Hi Ted
    >> Good points. What if 'meme' is simply a word signifying a strand of
    >> cultural information which resides in cultural artefacts (even a hammer)
    >> which enables the replication of the culture?
    >> Jeremy
    >We've been dealing with this on the Abstractism thread. My view is that
    >information is not a property of matter. We can have a chemist examine a
    >hammer and report back on all its properties. The property of "hammerness"
    >will not be among them. Neither its shape nor its potential uses make it a
    >hammer but only our interpretation of it when see it or use it. Cultural
    >artifacts can help spread memes, but the memes themselves are in our minds.
    Thanks Ted
    I've been trashing most of the abstractism thread due to time constraints.
    As a journeyman boat-builder I would comment that, regardless of the
    chemists report, all experienced woodworkers would, after examining the
    hammer, not only report that the hammer was a hammer but what kind, its
    quality, its specific uses, and a raft of other information.
    Even in Platonic parallels, if I find an ancient rusted hammer its
    'hammerness' will call to the perfect hammer that I have in my mind.

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