definition tangent

t (erimann@ix.netcom.com)
Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:03:01 -0700

From: <erimann@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:03:01 -0700
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: definition tangent

Kastytis writes

>2. Individuals of many species can transmit only danger signals or >similar ones. These signals are only reflex responses to some external >or rather simple internal stimuli. Such animals does not have a need >for consciousness.

And yet we can all readily identify the state of unconsciousness as it
appears in a non-human creature. An injured dog or a cat may be
unconscious in the moment of crises and then recover consciousness
later. Consciousness, in this sense, should therefore be expanded to
embrace all states of active cognitive coupling. All living beings have
a need for a certain degree of consciousness. The difference between
species in only one of degree and quality not of absence or presence.

>>Organisms can have effective "models" of their environment without
>>the need for consciousness, which is in many respects collateral to
>>the proceedings

>3. The bandwidth of speech channel limits the width of 'conscious
>information processing'. The natural selection could not maintain the
>emergency of broad 'conscious channels' in human evolution.
>So this interpretation may be some weak answer to question why capacity >of conscious information processing is much less then capacity of >unconscious one.

Speech, in the strictly vocal sense, accounts for only a minor portion
of what constitutes human communicative interaction. The value and
meaning of speech depends on the perception and interpretation of
non-verbal cues and behaviors. This nonverbal channel is actively
'processed' though it occurs via less obvious cognitive mechanisms than
what we consciously engage for the interpretation of speech.

Though it may be said that nonverbal processing is less conscious we
should be careful not to unnecessarily dissect communicative behavior.
Both forms of communication are essential for memetic interaction
between individuals. Both occur at varying levels of consciousness.
Neither are unconscious channels.

>Practically all memes (in humans) are transmitted by consciously >controlled channels.

OK, as long as we include non-verbal behaviors as consciously controlled
channels.

scott

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