Re: Meaning generation

Robert G. Grimes (
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 02:14:38 -0400

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 02:14:38 -0400
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: Meaning generation

Scott DeLancey wrote:

> > The meme concept, to me, is a subsequent phenomena but one which
> > reflects the prior biological development and our evolutionary
> I assume you don't mean "the meme concept" (which is itself a meme,
> obviously), but the phenomenon of memetic transmission, of a species
> much of whose behavior is governed by patterns learned from conspecifics
> (i.e. memes) rather than by innate mechanisms plus learning from
> experience.

Correct, I think now that I slipped from meme construct...

> > that the different, inborn, language handling constructs have certain
> > tendencies or "susceptibilities" to certain perceived language
> > constructs, which tend to reproduce (replicate) themselves, perhaps
> > because of their impact or stimulus to our cognitive milieu, i.e.,
> > resulting in neurotransmitters, hormones, pheromones, combinations of
> > these, etc.
> I'm not sure I understand this, or the analogy which follows.


And I don't blame you. After rereading it again I find that I misused
an old analogy of mine, thinking that it applied to this example, i.e.,
one can still get "correct" answers on the columnar machine with the
"tied down key" because the answer is still apparent in the
"significant" columns (disregarding the 1 and long string of zeroes to
the left) because one knows intuitively that the 1 so "distant" from the
columns that were being entered isn't related to the proper answer until
and unless the sums entered approach the 100,000 column. That is pretty
difficult and I really didn't make the analogy that I thought I was
making. Please excuse my clumsiness as it "seemed so clear" when writing

The prior statement regarding the neurotransmitters, hormones,
pheromones, etc., harks back to an opinion that the "shape" of the meme
construct may activate such agents in a manner similar to receptor sites
on organic molecules or cellular landscapes, i.e, "lock and key"
arrangements activate antigens, etc., that in the instance of the meme,
may be entirely serendipitous but still "associated" with the meme
construct. This does not, however, refer to an "atomistic" concept of
the meme but merely to the factual idea of stucture as related to an
"associative network" and the respective meme in the cognitive milieu.

This might be compared with the epileptiform aura associated with
certain tumors, lesions or traumas which may be utilized by stimulating
the aura electrically through cortical stimulation and locating the
lesion below in close proximity. The latter is a gross comparison to the
much more minute, sophisticated or subliminal product of the meme
structure which may result in its propagation because of the associated
stimulus. It could be excitory, pleasant or painful, etc., all provoking
action in the form of activating the meme to replication by
communication (propagation again). It is my attempt to perhaps explain
why some cognitive constructs are memes and replicate and other
constructs, very similar, are passive or non reactive to reproduction
because there is no associated reward, or stimulus, etc., accompanying
the activation of the construct (or idea).

Hopefully, this is more lucid than my previous analogy but it is tricky
territory trying to detail what is not known but speculated but, I
think, might possibly be inferred from observation.

Again, thanks for your time and attention and I enjoy your other



Bob Grimes Jacksonville, Florida

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore....."

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