Re: The information theoretic view Was: JOM

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 08:41:20 +0100

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 08:41:20 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: Re: The information theoretic view Was: JOM
In-Reply-To: <>

In message <>,
Richard Brodie <> writes
>Robin wrote:
><<We do disagree, in that I say that there are no cultural replicators
>that exist entirely in the mind (or entirely outside of it): there are
>no "mind-based replicators". I don't agree that "the mind" is useful in
>any definition, being undefined itself, and I say that every cultural
>replicator (i.e. every meme) exists both inside and outside the brain.
>To the extent that our definitions overlap -- that is, for items that we
>would agree are memes, or as close to being memes as makes no difference
>for most purposes -- I think these are extremely interesting. But
>they're not all I'm interested in.>>
>If "mind" is undefined for you, that's really your choice. Most people know
>what it means.

If that's good enough for you, that's fine, but I don't know why you
bother to participate here.[1] This list is theoretically-inclined, and
I'll take the risk of claiming to speak for others, when I say that
"Most people know what it means" just isn't good enough for most of us
here. Despite your claim to be in line with Dawkins and Dennett, you
are alone in persistently using "mind" where they use "brain". Because
you refuse even to try to define "mind", we cannot easily judge whether
this difference is significant. You're not helping us much, Richard, in
any sense.

>If you don't think there are mind-based replicators, again it
>is your choice to be blind to that very useful point of view. Memes, and
>genes, use all kinds of material and processes outside of themselves to
>facilitate their replication. That does not change the fact that they have a
>particular location that, if they aren't there, nothing happens. For memes,
>this is a mind. For genes, it is a germ cell. The fact that the cycle of
>genetic reproduction can involve two people mating in an airplane does not
>mean that the genes are "encoded" in the airplane.

I'm tired of pointing out the falsity of your analogies. I have faith
in the discrimination of most others here, and would rather work with
them constructively, than waste time and effort trying to make you
relinquish your heavy investment, which is probably a hopeless task

[1] Actually, that was rhetorical, because I do know why you
participate here: not to help develop memetics, but to protect your own
slice of the personal development industry by obstructing anything that
conflicts with the way you use memetic concepts.

Robin Faichney
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