Re: Question

Robert G. Grimes (
Wed, 02 Sep 1998 12:34:38 -0400

Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 12:34:38 -0400
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: Question


Again, we can refer to one measure, explanatory coherence, where the message of
the meme is of such "real" practical use that, in concert with a priori
knowledge and the resultant synergism, it helps explains things and is thus,
utile, and perhaps, reassuring. Actually, there are two values here, the
concept of utility and the explanatory value. One would expect that such memes
would be so "useful" that they would be replicated and persist. That is one
reason so many very fundamentally practical memes are ensconced in our ancient
religions, i.e., they were "guides to living" of olden times that are practical
to this day. They were probably placed in our religious rules because those
were the governing rules of the old theocracies of the past. Ones which have
been displaced by technological progress, perhaps food laws, seem senseless in
the days of public health laws, refrigeration and vacuum packs.

At the same time, memes which frequently stimulate or titillate the emotions,
perhaps some ancient sexual memes, still may stimulate us today though the
raiment may have changed. I have remarked previously about a ribald song that
we sang in high school that was hundreds of years old, Ring Dang Doo! Since
"stimulation and titillation" can be traced directly to neurotransmitters and
hormones, what I call the "rush of the meme," it would be hard to deny such
cause and effect relationships would not potentiate memetic stimulus and/or the
replication of the meme.

Of course, the same thing holds for non-sexually "feeling good," perhaps
referencing serotonin, endorphins, other than they in turn stimulating sexual
hormones, etc., and memes that tend to stimulate a feeling of rest and
well-being might likewise persist and be replicated appropriately in situations
or periodic "recharging" of emotional needs, i.e., offsetting, perhaps, angst.,

To attempt to separate these neural mechanisms from memetic structures (as well
as societal conditioned semantic labels) would invariably fail. However, one
must also realize the complexity of these processes and remember that other
stimuli may, in turn, stimulate the memetic response and replication, if only
for enhancement of a "feeling or emotion," potentiation, i.e., different
pheromones may do just such things besides primary causation, etc., such as mob
or crowd activities, fright or sexual pheromones, etc. When reinforcement or
feedback, negative or positive, is considered, the total effective/affective
impact of memetic constructs is difficult to imagine and probably can result in
tremendous culminations, i.e., jingoism and war, jingoism and peace, jingoism
and revolution, etc. etc.

Well, again, it is obvious that this is a stimulative subject!



When one realizes the interaction and multipath implications of the myriad of
things to which the organism responds (known and unknown) it is difficult to
determine primary causal relationships, but, rather, to simply recognize that
it is a multifaceted arena of stimuli which may be both affective and
effective, etc.

Dale Fletter wrote:

> Please point me in the right direction. It seems self-evident that not all
> memes have the same affect on the human species' ability to evolve. Those
> memes we learn at the knee become far more persistent than skirt length in
> the fall collection. How we cook, toilet-training habits, notions of self
> and our role in society could be controlled by memes that can almost be
> traced to very specific sub-groups within a society and are far more likely
> to be held over a lifetime and passed to offspring. Is there anything in
> the corpus that either supports or refutes this opinion?
> ===============================================================
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see:

Bob Grimes Jacksonville, Florida

Man is not in control, but the man who knows he is not in control is more in control...

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore....."

=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: