Re: Structure of facts and opinions

t (erimann@ix.netcom.com)
Thu, 27 Aug 1998 21:15:32 -0700

From: <erimann@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 21:15:32 -0700
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Structure of facts and opinions

The concept of memetic instantiation rests on the assumption that all
behaviors related to memetic replication are preceded by and included in
processes of mind. Beyond this assumption lies another proposing that
processes of mind are knowable and linked to physical events occurring
in the matter-energy matrix of the living individual. From what I can
see, abandoning this fundamental basis of human cultural behavior
repeats the error of the entrenched social sciences. This crucial error
is the denial of the material basis for social phenomena. This
misconception is an outgrowth of classical dichotomies particularly that
separating humanity from nature. If memetics is to fulfill any useful or
novel purpose, it must attempt to bridge this tired and outdated
dichotomy.

I'll admit that the material form of a meme is a difficult concept to
grasp. Part of this difficulty is due to the current state of the tools
available for exploring cognitive neurophysiology. However, I am
personally convinced that the current rate of innovation in this field
will place us on the threshold of "seeing" the material form of thought
before we're all dead. My persistence in claiming the assumptions noted
above lies in my impatience. I believe there is sufficient evidence to
allow the assumptions I have stated.

Memes which are successful in propagating themselves across space and
through time owe their success to specific ideational configurations.
These configurations bridge rational and emotional dimensions of mind in
particular ways. The patterns of electrochemical interactions defining
the configurations to which I refer will resonate, in varying degrees,
with our evolved biogenetic and sociocultural cognitive nature. Our
evolved biogenetic nature predisposes individuals to selectively attend
to certain environmental stimuli suggesting the gratification of basic
interests such as nutrition, shelter and reproduction. Our evolved
sociocultural nature predisposes us to attend to stimuli of relevance in
our social striving. Successful memes will succeed on the basis of their
ability to excite the human mind in specific ways which are unique and
determined largely by evolved cognitive capacities.

Perhaps this clarifies my thinking?

scott

"Drop kick me Satan,
through the goalposts of hell."
- Butthole Surfers

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