Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 10:37:36 EDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Re: Xtra!: Brodie defends Lynch
>> Belief, attitude, opinion, emotional association -- all these
>> influence behavior, or you wouldn't have
>> any cognitive psychologists.
>I agree, but likewise behaviour influences belief, or else you wouldn't
>have any behavioural therapists (now available on the National
>Health Service in the UK - works quite well on things like phobias,
>and allegedly also on antisocial behaviour.) You want a one-way
>street: internal memes make behaviours, information flows in one
>direction. Except it doesn't. We learn what we see - the behaviour.
>A belief or psychological state may come afterwards, but then it may be
>(and probably will be) completely different to the internal state of
>the individual we learned the behaviour from. The internal meme is a
>poor replicator at best, and most of the time is simply not the
>replicator. The behaviour replicates with far more fidelity. (In the
>words of the Foster's beer advert: He who drinks Australian thinks
It is logically misleading to distinguish 'internal mental
states', i.e. 'beliefs', from 'behavior'. Our 'beliefs'
constitute a specific configurations of our brain's
'neurocircuitry' (or whatever more accurrate medical
terminology applies), and have _no other function_ than to direct our
'behavior' -- that is, our nervous system's 'reactions' in response
and other forms of 'experiential' stimuli. And likewise our
reactions to our sensory and experiential stimuli, i.e. our
'observations' of others and of 'the world' in general,
constitute the self-configuration process of our
'experiential-reaction neurocircuitry'. Our 'beliefs', our
'behavior', and our 'observations' are a single cybernetic system,
'complementary' aspects of a single process.
>> But let me tell you, you can bet the farm
>> that in every one of these cases the memes will spread to SOME
>> statistical portion of the audience.
>Rhetoric again. There is no meme spreading from head to head.
I suggest that we regard 'memes' as 'experiential reaction
neurocircuitry configuration programs' which are indeed
transmitted "from head to head", i.e. from nervous system
configuration to nervous system configuration, via our
observations of one another's behaviors -- linguistic and
otherwise -- which those 'programs'', in turn, direct.
>> What factors make these memes more likely to spread once they are
>> placed in front of people's
I would suggest that it revolves, both consciously and
subconsciously, around replication and 'improvement' of the
species as percieved by the participating individual brains,
which translates to SEX with one's perception of the optimal
partner. The conscious (explicit) or subconscious
(implicit) motive might be (although inherently inadequately)
'worded' something like: "Is this behavior going to enhance my survival, or
or indirectly enhance my potential for aquiring and mating
with the optimal sexual partner, or insuring the survival
and propagation of my genes, etc.?"
If this assessment is accurate, it becomes quite clear that
the 'self-propagation' theme seems to play on itself both in our
'memes' and in our 'genes'.
Perhaps we should consider this 'fractal'-like tendency as
a fundemental self-organizing
principle at work in some kind of universal
'self-building' cybernetic 'super-organism', e.g. ala Bloom's
"The Lucifer Principle". Chew on it for awhile :)
Chris Turner 9-19-98
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