Re: Question

Robert G. Grimes (
Wed, 02 Sep 1998 14:21:23 -0400

Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 14:21:23 -0400
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: Question


Thanks for pointing out the problem with my wording! I was intending to make
just that point, i.e., to disregard any "non neural" or "atomistic" concepts
about memes in support of my contention that the meme exists "in situ," is
unique due to the cognitive milieu and to emphasize the "organic" quality of
the meme as opposed to any external symbology or ethereal "meaning" symbology
although the externalizations or effectuation of all of this is the societal
"end result."

That memetic structures would be neural structures is a given but, of course,
the contrary isn't true. If we maintain that the meme has certain qualities,
replicates, may be "contagious," etc., then similar neural structures without
those qualities would not be memes.

I've been asked, for example, how I justify the "rush of the meme" previously
and, obviously, have no personal independent empirical evidence of such
positing. But to separate the cognitive "image," totality, or neural structure
of the meme in situ from the organics is obviously a serious error, in my
opinion, and I would think that most others would agree. Since neural
activity, including memetic, couldn't take place sans the varied
neurotransmitters, chemistry, physical structure, etc., one only has to draw
the conclusion of the association of the chemistry with the meme in the manner
I have expressed, i.e., causal, secondary, potentiating, etc., etc., to be
pretty comfortable with such an explanation, especially if there is some "urge
to replicate." Again, I would believe that we would have to wait for such
things as PET scan evidence, etc., to empirically prove the "rush of the meme,"
or most of these things, if we could do it then.

But, still, one would not want to confuse the map with the territory and it is
apparent that my hypothesis is just that, an hypothesis, but my interpretation
would mean that the parent's ability to guide the child's "neural development"
for behavioral purposes is both "cultural" (which is environmental) and
genetic, as well as other things. Again, the child will not be "what the
parent plans" but "what the parent, the child, and the environment/society
effect." Since the modification of the neural mechanisms depend upon so many
variables there would be no wonder that there would not be "one to one
relationships" of a mathematical nature but, rather, an accumulative effect of
the interaction between the child's neural setup and the child's environment,
including memetic influences from all sources. The cultural "seeds of the
meme," in symbology and the memes themselves, in situ, would assist in
determining the totality of the culture and help explain the evolutionary and
time-binding aspects of culture.

Hopefully, I have clarified my wording...


Mark Mills wrote:

> Wouldn't memetic structures be assemblies of neural mechanisms?
> Wouldn't cultural replication from parent to child depend on the parent's
> ability to guide the child's neural development in such a way to produce
> acceptible behavior given the cultural context?

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....."

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