Re: List of meme definitions

t (christopher_l._turner@hud.gov)
Fri, 17 Apr 98 15:35:58 -0500

From: <christopher_l._turner@hud.gov>
Message-Id: <9804178928.AA892841711@hudsmtphq.hud.gov>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 98 15:35:58 -0500
To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: List of meme definitions

Tim Rhodes wrote:
>>>>A meme is not a configuration neuro-synaptic circuitry, it is
_what results_ from that configuration.<<<<<

Tim, please give example(s) of what you mean by "_what results_ from
that configuration".
(I'm not sure how these complementary aspects [neural configuration
and its "results"] should be differentiated.)

>>>>If a meme is a "configuration of the brain's neuro-circuitry",
how, may I ask, can it be encoded in anything other than a brain? (e.
g. paper, stone, vibrating air)<<<<

The encoding, by the human nervous system, of its memes in
extra-neural media (such as paper, stone, vibrating air, etc.) is for
the purpose of transmission of them to other human nervous systems.
The meme is not a meme without the nervous system. Nor can the meme
exist except as some configuration of matter. The configuration of a
material determines its interactive properties with its environment.
The meme is embodied _as_ the configuration of a physical medium, and
in its 'active' form, that of the human nervous system.

The human nervous system cannot be isolated from its environment (and
still function and evolve as such). The nervous system and its
environment are a complete cybernetic feedback circuit which we
artificially and linguistically "separate" at our own semantic (and so
memetic) peril.

>>>>Doesn't this point to the meme being something other than simply a
concrete configuration of synapses?<<<<

Again, it is a human semantic/linguistic artifice to call a
configuration of neural synapses "concrete", as though it were an
inanimate static structure made of same. We should regard the
'living' configuration of that neuro-circuitry and its environmentally
interactive 'activities' as functionally a single integrated
cybernetic system in this context.

>>>>If we say that the "meme" is _the configuration_, what term will
we chose for _the products_ of that configuration, the parts which
actually transmit and replicate the configuration in another
hosts?<<<<

Please clarify, give example(s), of what you mean by "_the
products_"/"parts which actually transmit..".

Thanks for discussing.
Chris

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