RE: Memetics not tautological or circular

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 17:55:52 -0700

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Memetics not tautological or circular
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 17:55:52 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

Derek wrote:

<<Sorry, I was being unclear in my use of the word 'memetic'. What I should
have said is that learning to drive is not memetic in the Dawkins B/thought
contagionist sense - because the internal mental construct in the
experienced driver is different to that of the learner.>>

In what way is it different? Why would you assert that? The functional
definition of (Dawkins B) meme is that it is in fact the same, is it not?

<< It is however,
memetic in the behaviorist sense, and indeed is an almost archetypal
example of behavioral imitational memetics.>>

Where does this behavior come from if not from mentally stored information?
How are learned behaviors retained? When someone learns a behavior from
someone else, why can you see the behavior itself as a meme but not the
information in the mind that causes the behavior?

<< A similar point might be made
about learning chess. It is known that experienced chess players have an
entirely different conception of the game to novices. The evidence for this
rests on experiments where masters and novices are required to remember
certain game situations. When one learns chess, a behavior is replicated,
but not a mental content.>>

Where does the behavior come from if not the mind?

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
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