RE: i-memes and m-memes

Aaron Agassi (
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 04:47:51 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 04:47:51 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Gatherer, D. (Derek)
> Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 1999 3:44 AM
> To: ''
> Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
> Aaron:
> *Sigh*! Here is another muddle you've gotten into by rejecting out of hand
> my proposed frame work, instead of testing my conjecture.
> Derek:
> Well, actually, there was a time when I came quite close to that view
> myself. Liane Gabora is probably the most important advocate of
> the opinion
> that all mental/neural events are memetic, right down to 'a vivid
> sensation
> of red' (see her JoM article). I didn't get the idea from reading Gabora,
> but from overinterpreting Dennett (I think). Of course Dennett does not
> hold this view himself (just to get that clear, in his book Consciousness
> Explained he states quite clearly that the 'simple ideas' of
> Locke, what we
> would call qualia,
Do you mean Primary qualities (i.e., that it reflects red wavelengths of
light, which is Ontology) or secondary qualities (i.e., the sensation of
redness experienced in observation, which is Phenomenology)?

>are _not_ to be considered as memes), but I
> think you can
> get the idea by stretching Dennett in the wrong direction. I
> once wrote an
> article for Psyche, trying to make the argument that Dennett, by excluding
> qualia, stops short of a 'total memetic hypothesis' of the mind.
> Mercifully, it got rejected, and I was thus saved the embarrassment of
> having to backtrack on it, as I have had to do with some of my other
> publications from my Dawkins B phase.
> The central problem for such a Gaborian thesis - maybe you can
> answer this,
> Aaron, because I can't - is how are qualia transmitted? or if
> you prefer,
> how are qualia replicated?
Badly. Idea, even from experience, is only representation of Ontology. But
such is mutation. If you are referring to primary qualities, that is. I was.
I argued that all objects and events are memetic. The brain being no

I never dealt with any transmission of secondary qualities. But It is
surprising that transmission of experience within the same brain would be
problematic. Because that would be the issue, considering that they where
looking for a meme in process in the brain. A needlessly muddled enterprise,
I argue.

Assuming that any idea or experience defies communication, that still does
not remove it from Memetics under my frame work. I assert that all is
memetic, but dormancy is the norm. An unseen pebble in an uncharted cave is
memetic, no less than a lost manuscript, but likewise dormant, in the same
way that a falling piano is a very bad airplane. Aerodynamics does not only
deal with successful gliders, but with all things. Likewise Memetics must
admit poor or unlucky replicators. Thus, if secondary qualities are truly
inexpressible, that will not be problematic.

>I can't see that they are (or if they are then
> how? - telepathy would seem to be the only solution, and
> obviously there is
> no such thing, so what could be a more believable mechanism?).
> Aaron:
> If, as I assert, everything is to be considered memetic to begin
> with, then
> you only need to deal with any occasion of replication in and of itself.
> Derek:
> Not everything can be a replicator, because not everything can replicate.
Wrong. They are bad or unlucky replicators. But no non-replicators. No more
than there are losers in Vegas! There are only patrons who have not yet
found their winning table! Under the right circumstances, any phenomena may
yet be perceived somehow, though distortedly (mutation), perhaps.

> With reference to the Gaborian thesis, the problem is how do qualia
> replicate?
I take it that you mean secondary qualities, that belong to Phenomenology.
And even if they don't, this is not problematic. Just dormancy, which is the

However, it has already been proposed that all memplexes have an instinctual
genetically transmitted component. And so, if the color red that one human
being sees is indeed similar to redness as experienced by another, then any
description of a red object replicates as a memplex that must include that
already familiar component.

Redness, then, replicates genetically not memetically. Memetics is only a
special case of Mimetics.

But if sensation or experience or any other aspect of the Phenomena is truly
ineffable, then, in conversation, it may yet replicate, but subject to
mutation. Or maybe not, for example if it is forgotten before the
opportunity of transmission. Again, not problematic.

> ===============================================================
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)