Re: testing memetics

Mark Mills (
Tue, 23 Dec 97 08:24:54 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: testing memetics
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 97 08:24:54 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "memetics list" <>

>>I don't consider each neuronal event a meme. I do think that every
>>systemic neuronal event is memetic, though.
>>I suspect I'm tending to favor more of a systemic definition for memes. A
>>meme is not a physical 'thing,' but a system that has coherence at a
>>specific scale and frequency domain. The meme has to have a 'active
>>behavior' to identify it, a 'reproductive method' to propagate it, and a
>>substrate to stablize processes (active and reproductive). This
>>definition offers some advantages in information theory, but more
>>importantly, it offers a framework to include both 'instinct' and
>>'experience' in the memetic picture.
>When you say "systemic", I'm tempted to think "emergent".


Thanks for the comment. I've given it a lot of thought. I'm a bit
surprised my response is so short.

I can accept your linkage between 'systems' and 'emergent' features. A
system's behavior is greater than the sum of the parts, etc. Something
new always emerges from a system. Perhaps, 'emergent' features always
indicate 'systemic' activity.

>How about viewing
>memes as emergent properties of neuronal events, ...

Basically, I agree. I wonder if we are agreeing on the context, though.
I see memetic activity emerging soon after the first neural system
evolves, at least 600 million years ago.


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