RE: i-memes and m-memes

Aaron Agassi (
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 08:32:11 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 08:32:11 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Bill Spight
> Sent: Saturday, September 04, 1999 4:02 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: i-memes and m-memes
> Dear Aaron:
> Aaron:
> Okay, you got me! Sorry for the confusion.
> Bill:
> I did find it confusing.
> Aaron:
> That was before I read the post denoting how original usage
> differentiates memes from memetic objects and phenomena, and
> rephrased, making the distinction, in accordance. The observation
> was that some have expanded the usage of the word 'meme' to cover
> the memes manifestations.
> Bill:
> I think that there has been disagreement about the meaning of
> "meme" for a couple of decades.
> Aaron:
> According to the old usage I can only deem a dust particle
> memetic. According to current expanded usage that I too had
> fallen into, it might even be called a meme in and of itself.
> Perhaps you can advise me on the Semantics, the fine distinction,
> which has become the more confusing since I intentionally
> challenged the idea that natural objects and phenomena are not
> memetic (or memes, in the newer looser usage).
> Bill:
> I don't think that there is a looser usage here.
> The reason that natural objects and phenomena are not memes, by
> any definition that I know of, is that they are not cultural, per
> se. A natural object or phenomenon along with its cultural
> significance may be a meme, under some definitions.
> Aaron:
> Meaning is transmissible subject to comprehension. Meaning is an
> intellectual artifact, information content, that is decoded and
> re-encoded, thus comprehended. But then, so is sensory input from
> reality. Meaning derived from information in the physicist's sense is
> understanding. It has to do with concepts and interrelationships
> as opposed to rote learning of detail without meaning. Accurate
> meaning is truth, correspondence to reality, of
> interrelationship, Gestalt, as opposed to the truth of one to one
> correspondence of every point, meaninglessly. My point is that
> receptivity to communication is only a special case of
> perception. That comprehension is comprehension. Decoding
> messages is only a special case, just another instance of problem
> solving and that aspect of that part of the Phenomena which is
> ongoing simulation of reality from input. It's the same
> operation, perhaps with some variation, in confronting culture as
> in confronting nature. If there is any such variation, then what
> is it? A fine point, I'd expect, and not a difference in kind.
> Bill:
> Well, there does seem to be a general distinction between social
Are memes only social information or truisms? No, because an impression once
derived from Nature is transmissible. Why is it only a meme in second
generation? Are there potential memes in the mind of the originator? Are
there potential potential memes in Nature? You see the problem that is
solved only if all is memetic.

> and instrumental intelligence, and differences between how we
> confront natural and cultural phenomena.
And what is that supposed distinction?

>Some believe that the
> mind is highly modular (the Swiss Army knife model). I think that
> there is a good bit of exaptation, that is, that skills evolved
> in one area are applied to others.
But if the same skill is applied to the same task in either case, then what
is the difference in kind?

> Aaron:
> Thus all is memetic
> Bill:
> Because anything may be endowed with meaning, and that meaning
> may be culturally transmitted?
I don't want to say endowed. Meaning is derived from nature, despite the
fact that meaning is not encoded into nature, except if by God. Meaning, as
I've said, is the truth (correspondence to reality) of form and
interrelationships (as opposed to uncomprehending point by point
correspondence). Meaning, like truth generally, is the quality of a
statement (or thought). Thus, even Nature may be said to transmit. it is wee
who replicate, either from nature or from culture.

> Ciao,
> Bill
> ===============================================================
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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> see:

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)