Re: Doing the neural walk

Mark Mills (
Tue, 15 Sep 98 09:04:26 -0600

Subject: Re: Doing the neural walk
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 98 09:04:26 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "Memetics List" <>
Message-Id: <>

John Wilkins wrote,

>Am I a cyberneticist? I guess, since I follow the Williams definition
>which is based on evolutionary genes as "cybernetic abstractions" that
>to some extent I am, but I would rather say that I am attempting to
>understand memes as semantic information

Great. You have stated a preference for process models for both genes
and memes, so the cybernetic model fits.

>that is, meaningful messages that are transmitted.
>Cybernetics assumes a control system, and I do not think that it
>is useful to conceive of memes (or genes, for that matter) as
>"programs", which invites one
>to see bodies or "hosts" as "lumbering robots" so controlled.

There are a variety of ways to visualize cybernetic models. They include
the lumbering robot, but there are others.

>However, Mark has made some good points about this debate, and the issue is
>indeed one of substance versus process, or rather (in the terms used in the
>taxonomic debates), one of pattern versus process.

Thank you for the clarification.

>While I have some real difficulties with the replicator/interactor
>distinction when one is dealing with protobiology (or protocultural
>output in culture), I certainly have no problems with it in the
>normal course of biology.

Again, thank you for the clarification.


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