Re: On 'information transmission'

Paul Marsden (
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 08:57:17 -0000

From: "Paul Marsden" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: On 'information transmission'
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 08:57:17 -0000


>Thus, we have situations like that mentioned by Paul. Paul is frustrated
>by the impossibility of 'transmitting information.' Actually, he is
>hoping Aaron can 'recreate' his perspective, but we like 'transmission'
>because it sounds like the receiver has no choice in the matter. It is
>more clear cut.

>Somehow, I doubt there will be much agreement or commentary.

I hope you are wrong - because IMO, it is an important point.
>Despite the arcane appearance of my proposal, it does have implications
>for memetics. If information cannot be transmitted, how can memes be

I think that is why despite other worries, I rather like Sue Blackmore's
(and Dawkins) conceptualisation of memes as units of imitation - with
imitation as a sophisticated recreative (and possibly uniquely human)
activity. From this perspective, I think learning/instruction could be
construed as second order imitation, where a verbal or symbolic
representation of an act of imitation is produced and recreated between a
network of agents. From such a perspective a notion of power (I know I have
a fixation about this, but it is important given the asymmetric nature of
human social interaction) could be developed by measuring the ratio of *RE*
presentation to *re*creation, i.e do as I say and not as I do.

Your comments please...

Paul Marsden
Graduate Research Centre in the Social Sciences
University of Sussex
tel/fax (44) (0) 117 974 1279

Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission:

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