Re: Words and memes

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 17:07:42 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and memes
    Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 09:07:42 -0800
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    > >> 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.
    > >
    > >Ted
    > >
    > 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.
    > Jeremy

    Right. That's my point. It's a hammer only in the mind of the individuals
    for whom it corresponds to the abstract idea of "hammer." You don't have to
    be an experienced woodworker to know when an object fits this category.


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