Re: Gs and memetic engineering

Bruce Howlett (
Wed, 01 Apr 1998 17:30:24 +0000

Date: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 17:30:24 +0000
From: Bruce Howlett <>
Subject: Re: Gs and memetic engineering wrote:
> I think I am reasonably aware that I personally need
> to re-engineer my own memes (my language-based behavior motivating
> programs) to incorporate a greater awareness and acknowledgement of
> the involvment of my own nervous system in my perceptions, but I'm not
> so sure about many others on this list. I think that before we
> undertake to re-engineer the memes of others, _OR_ criticize the
> concept of doing so, we need to carefully examine, and re-engineer as
> necessary, our own memes. I wonder how many of you folks have taken
> a serious look at general-semantics as a discipline? I see a lot of
> apparent confusion of _labels_ like 'nature', etc., with phenomena in
> our extra-neural environment. Our words, and the categories of our
> experience that we designate with them, are arbitrary conveniences
> contrived by our own nervous systems. We need to be keenly aware of
> this fact if we want to seriously consider systematically
> reconstructing our memes to more constructively _interact_ with their
> 'environment' (our 'minds'), and therein direct us to more
> constructively interact with ours (each other, or ecological
> environment, etc.).


I agree, we are no longer _just_ an animal, although we quickly revert
to that state under stress. Communication is where it is at period.
The most brilliant perception or idea is worthless if not communicated.
The reason I am so interested in memetics is because it deals with
communication at all levels, not just language. I would suggest that
language is a major portion of that process and in fact contributes
significantly to the stucture of an efficient (successful?) meme. Bob's
point may also be valid, but how do we distinguish what influence or
proportion of those factors (pheromones, hormones, neurotransmitters,
etc.) influence have on the minds of humans collectively and
individually if we don't establish a framework for the study of
memetics. By establishing agreed meanings and reference points the
distillation process will continue to clarify the collective
understanding of Memetics. Physiological influences may well be an
entire sub-specialty within the science.


I would prefer to think that I (cognitive identity) have some choice in
the direction and initiation of processes which achieve specific
outcomes. In retrospect (I am 46 years old) I can see how various
stages in my life have very much been controlled by hormones etc. But
the bigger picture? - I don't think I would even bother to get out of
bed in the morning if I believed that my existence was a chain of
physiological knee jerks. Is this the "I know my life must mean
something" meme?


Bruce :-)

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