Re: Question

Lloyd Robertson (
Wed, 02 Sep 1998 23:32:54 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 23:32:54 -0600
From: Lloyd Robertson <>
Subject: Re: Question
In-Reply-To: <>

Why is it that meme structures must necesarily be neural structures?
Dawkins observed that some memes attract and some repel thus bringing
structure. Artists, musicians and even writers will, at times, in fits of
creativity, behave as tho their fingers, etc. had minds of their own -
creatively producing without conscious thought. It's as tho some outside
force is moving the process.

Feminism came under (mis)fire on this thread. OK, I was an active supporter
of Women's Liberation back in the 60s. We have seen it's frantic evolution
with certain segments nurturing the "male as demon" meme. Could it not be
said that the demon meme was already there nurtured and supported by other
memes of which we were conscious and that it was only a matter of time that
the demon meme would be imprinted as neural structures on X number of

How about the Christian who, without prior thought but faced with a new
circumstance, comes to the instant conclusion that a Christian leader
(priest, minister, Pope, etc.) could not be guilty of a serious crime
irrespective of empirical evidence? The meme structure simply dictates that
something must be true or must not be true and the mind then engages in a
series of rationalizations to ensure the integrity of that structure. Could
it not be said that the structure existed before altho parts of that
structure were not yet imprinted on the neural network?

I can understand the scientist's need for concreteness in studying anything
but maybe it's like a fish studying the atmosphere and limiting himself to
the oxygen in the ocean. Maybe there is an ethereal meme-plane out there
that we can only conceptualize. Maybe we have finally found the
non-material world!



P.S. I am new to this thread and to memes. Please be gentle.

At 02:21 PM 02/09/98 -0400, Robert G. Grimes wrote:
> Mark,
>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"
>and, obviously, have no personal independent empirical evidence of such
>positing. But to separate the cognitive "image," totality, or neural
>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
>I have expressed, i.e., causal, secondary, potentiating, etc., etc., to be
>pretty comfortable with such an explanation, especially if there is some
>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
>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
>would mean that the parent's ability to guide the child's "neural
>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
>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)

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)