Re: neonatal imitation

Bill Benzon (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 07:29:07 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 07:29:07 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: neonatal imitation

At 8:57 AM 10/22/98 -0400, BMSDGATH wrote:

>I suppose if I were to
>forget individual football players and start thinking about match
>analysis as a textual artefact, eg. each analysed match represents a
>cultural product as an array of numbers, and I'd have to look for
>replicating elements within that series, that corpus, of numerical
>arrays, then infer back to the actual behaviour afterwards......
>Transmission is therefore simply assumed (???)
>Or is it? We can see the replicating elements. Maybe it doesn't
>matter how they replicate...., they just do and that's our cultural
>I need to think about this. I am a little loathe to let go of the
>individual as a unit of selection. I like to see indidividuals
>behaving, imitating etc., but I migth be driven to textual analysis by
>the nature of the data.

Well, individuals do behave and imitate, but that doesn't mean they are the
units of of cultural selection. Think of them as providing the environment
for selection. But what's getting selected is more abstract. In music it
seems to be a style. Styles compete for the allegiance of a population of
players and listeners. The individual players and listeners choose this or
that set of memes according to how they satisfy needs which they can barely
articulate, if at all. They know what feels good, but they don't really
know why or how.

Bill B

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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