Re: On uplifting

Mark Mills (
Wed, 19 Nov 97 17:00:13 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: On uplifting
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 97 17:00:13 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "memetics list" <>

>>I'd simply say 'consciousness is a story.' It might be a unique and
>>useful one, but it is just a construct our 'story engine' creates to make
>>sense of our sensory experiences.
>How nicely put! And what a nice analogy to Bateson's comparing
>consciousness with the screen of a TV-set: which offers a selective and
>limited view of the larger system and cannot report on its own image
>processing, except in an indirect "symptomatic" way (image deterioration
>when something is "wrong").



Here a few other notions regarding the role of this hypothetical 'story

a) The story engine can be scaled down to single cell animals if one
defines 'story' as any resynthesis of 'experience' used in decision
making. Single celled organisms can respond to their environment in
creative ways implying some sort of decision making process.

b) I use the 'engine' modifier to imply that 'story' emerges from the
system as an automatic product. Little kids don't need to be taught to
understand 'stories,' they are born with the ability. It appears as soon
as language allows the child to express it. A person with 'story' is

c) There is continued problems with homunculi. The notion of 'story'
leads to 'story reader' and 'story writer.' Either could be linked to
homunculi. One has to be careful.

d) I bring the 'story engine' up because it provides a framework for
'memes.' The brain's 'story engine' can be likened to the activity to a
cell. A cell takes in raw materials and process it. The processed
materials either facilitate changes in the cell and/or production of
output. The genes maintain the processes, but the system seems to have
the ability to respond creatively, even at the single cell level.

At the brain's level, the raw materials are experiences. These
experiences (materials) are processed into physical changes (neural
expansion, memory proteins, etc) or production (brain waves, hormone
secretion, etc). Memes play the process maintenance role analogous to

It seems natural to conclude that we are born with a 'starter' set of
memes. The starter set is something to produce initial 'stories' which
will evoke a search for the fulfilling experiences necessary to form the
mature memes of an adult. Experience shapes the meme.


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