Re: Memes are Interactors

Josip Pajk (
Mon, 04 May 1998 10:20:47 +0200

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 10:20:47 +0200
From: Josip Pajk <>
Subject: Re: Memes are Interactors
In-Reply-To: <v03102801b16df279f3cb@[]>

At 11:31 30.04.98 +0200, Ton wrote:

>My point is that
>we should be very careful in _not_ attributing notions like "form" and
>"content" to the phenomena around us, since they are merely modes in our
>own cognitive process of describing those phenomena. With text this is
>pretty obvious: to an illiterate organism, text is just a bunch of funny
>shapes. Where's the form? Where's the content?

It is obvious to me that the same "form" (structure) has not the same
"content" (information) for every system (organism).
Is it not a proof that information are NOT TRANSMITED but PRODUCED in the
system from the content of the form observed in a host's "cognitive process"?
It is obvious to me that two hosts can, in the same time, produce their
particular information content (if any) observing the very same physical form.
If this is not understood, we have such silly definitions like those that
information transmission is "something special" compared with matter and
energy transmission, because "information remains at the source even if
transmitted to the destination", or, the "same" information can be in two
different places in the same time.
This doesn't seem to me like a scientific definition, as that of stating
that memes are replicators with "interacting properties". It is a little
bit confusing, and "non-scientific", don't you think?
What remains on the source is its state. The source system actually have to
transmit some matter or/and energy (signal) output (it must behave) in
order to produce some change of state (information, meme) in the
destination system. How the destination system will change its state (what
meme will be produced) does not depend exclusively about the transmitted
(received) signal but in a great extent also about in which state was the
destination system in the time of reception.
In this line of (strict) thinking arises my suggestion of defining memes as
"invisible" interactors (born and struggling with other previously
instantiated memes for survival in their only environment, the human
brain), and behaviours as "visible" replicators (replicanda) spreading
around in a physical world, making more host systems to produce new memes
of the same kind and behave according to a specific behavioural pattern.
Such understanding opens a wholly new line in the explanation of, i.e.
group behaviour (from rigid groups like those military to more flexible
groups like ours), or cultural evolution (if behaviours are understood as
"energetic" memetic artifacts (replicanda), just like those "material" like
books, pots, etc.)


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