Re: Measuring Memes

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 09:46:12 +0100

Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 09:46:12 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: Re: Measuring Memes
In-Reply-To: <>

In message <>, Lloyd
Robertson <> writes
>Please give me an example of how a meme is a code. Are you using Dawkins
>"A" and suggesting that it is a code for behavior or artifact making?

Briefly, in memetic transmission, brain state codes for behaviour, AND
behaviour codes for brain state.

To expand -- when computer code is executed, the execution is in effect
a decoding operation: what happens then is the meaning of the code. So,
obviously, information in the brain codes for behaviour, and that is
viewable as decoding, too. But if replication occurs, and the behaviour
causes the corresponding information to be stored in another brain, do
we call that encoding? We could do, but the distinction between
encoding and decoding, between "clear" and "coded" forms, is an
arbitrary one. Both are just reversible transformations of information,
and we typically call the form that is most convenient to us, "clear",
and the other, "coded". If we say that either the behaviour is the meme
xor the brain information is the meme, it looks to me like that
distinction is based on the clear vs. coded one, making it a false
dichotomy. What we have here is cyclical transformation of information,
which is equally present in brain AND behaviour, though in different
forms. How could information be transmitted if not through every link in
the chain?

Robin Faichney
Visit The Conscious Machine at

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