Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 16:24:36 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 08:24:36 -0800
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    >This view seems compatible with the concept of the self being generated by
    >exposure to culture. Parents have a large share in shaping the self on
    >offspring since they have a great influence in their upbringing. They are
    >authoritative, credible and always around hence easily and eagerly copied
    >their kids.
    >You might even extend Berne's conjecture to bring it more on a par with
    >memetics (boy do I love that meme `on a par with' all of a sudden). People
    >are shaped by the sum total of culture. People who make an impression on
    >tend to be copied. So you might not only hear voices of your mum and dad
    >in your head when decisions have to be made but actually also your
    >school-buddies, peers, authorities, friends, but also perhaps actors. After
    >would we like movies as much as we do if we were unable to identify with
    >or admire at least one of the starring characters.
    >We are all so dorn unoriginal, snif....
    I can't deny it. I know too many people who can quote endless lines of
    dialogue from old movies. I do it myself from time to time. Elmore Leonard
    used the trend in his book and movie, GET SHORTY. Scores from old songs
    also fit into this category. I used to quote them to my son when common
    sense seemed to fail. Things like, "There is no right. There is no wrong.
    There's just you and me and we just disagree." We can all quote verbatim
    things siblings and other family members used to say and do during our

    There was a Japanese author who wrote, "I can remember every word of the
    first book I ever read, but I can remember very little of the book I read
    just yesterday."

    In THE RUNAWAY BRAIN, Christopher Wills points out:
    After birth, the development of the human brain takes a dramatically
    different turn from that of the chimpanzee. Once it has been released from
    the constriction imposed by the size of the birth canal, the human brain
    explodes in size. By age four it has tripled in size. Although it develops
    more slowly thereafter, it eventually reaches about 1400 cubic centimeters,
    four times its size at birth."

    He attributs this rapid growth to the reason children learn so much more
    quickly than adults and the fact that what they learn at this time sticks
    with them for the rest of their lvies. It's the time when the structure of
    the brain is most affected by its environment.

    He also notes: "The most lengthy exploration of this viewpoint [culture
    raising Homo Erectus to the sapiens state] was by Charles Lumsden and Edward
    O. Wilson, who detailed the possible consequences of a brain-culture
    feedback in their book GENES, MIND AND CULTURE (1981). But they erred in
    making the feedback too direct and too specific. They began postulating
    features of prehumans or human culture that they called "culturgens,"
    fetures that could be as simple as particular tools or as complex as
    grammatical forms of language."

    So now we have aother word for the memetic vocabulary, given to us by a

    "Everybody wants to get into the act!" Jimmy Durante.

    Grant ;-)>

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