RE: Inernal meme?

Chris Lofting (
Sat, 25 Sep 1999 02:06:00 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Inernal meme?
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 02:06:00 +1000
In-Reply-To: <>


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Gatherer, D. (Derek)
> Sent: Friday, 24 September 1999 6:46
> To: ''
> Subject: RE: Inernal meme?
> > Consider the following:
> >
> > If I were a subject in a trial of this sort, and I were exposed to the
> > threat words, and my amygdala and cortex were firing strongly in the
> > expected manner, and if I were then placed in proximity to another
> > individual who had _not_ been part of the trial, how could the amygdala
> > 'mnemon' pattern develop in his/her brain
> Chris:
> 'vibes'. My emotional state can elicit resonance in others. If I
> laugh then
> I can get others to do so. Same if I cry or am in a rage. If I am
> in a rage
> I can get others into a threat state without them knowing the original
> cause.
> Derek:
> 'Vibes' and 'resonance' don't really provide an explanation.
> What I want to
> know is exactly _how_ my amygdalar activation pattern could be replicated
> into somebody else's brain, just by being in their vicinity.

(1) I create a pattern based on recursive dichotomisation of the
fight/flight response. The cause of this pattern is a word. phrase,
sentence, etc etc but underneath these words are patterns of emotion tied to
the what/where elements in each pattern.

(2) As humans, we share the general patterns such that a pattern of emotion
expressed by a word can sweep through a crowd as a wave and do this before
you can change the pattern; the first bit of data will be biased to
fight/flight and so set the context for all that follows (even if the
interpretation of that bit is incorrect -- we will usually stick to first
impressions). That first bit aids us to zoom-in, to move from general to
particular, very quickly and it enables us to empathise without even hearing
words, just on look alone. (If someone is rushing towards you showing fear,
you will ask 'what is happening?' but the expression alone would already
set-off patterns in you before you hear the explanations, you are already
preparing flight...)

(3) Your amygdala functions in the same general way as mine so all I have to
do is set a context and then 'refine' it. your perceptions of my behaviour
will cause you to follow the same derivational path (unless you choose to
resist). Since we all share, in general, the same patterns it is very easy
to recreate a pattern in other people, even a facial expression or a body
posture can elicit an interpretation.

(4) I get the impression that you think it is the word that 'does it all',
it isnt, it is the emotional tone and the body language -- all aspects of
someones communication often recorded in background and so 'out' of
consciousness. Since the initial context is 'what' or 'where' (or a compound
form of this) you can often overlook this aspect. There is MUCH data that
does not get to the conscious level...

(5) If I am walking down the street and you are walking towards me, if I say
'hello' as we pass you will respond without thinking (unless you are
paranoid etc :-))

(6) These sorts of reactions (a) transmit a signal (b) include a context,
(c) include a emotional tone. Meaning is in the emotion.

(7) With this data now consider that there is one possible explanation for
the vicinity concept and it deals with waves. Waves, when they come across a
barrier can pass through that barrier and elicit wave patterns on the other
side; if a wave of emotion passes through me and you are near by (next to
me?) there is a good chance that, if you are not being proactive but just
reactive, that wave can be passed on to you. Ever notice how music can get
everyone tapping their foot at the same time? Waves at work, bypass the
consciousness barrier and sets of the same general patterns that includes
muscle movements.

(8) Add to this the education/experience angle where you and I grow up
together and so have the same general patterns of emotions and seeing me in
an emotional state can generate empathy; our growing up together can get us
to mimic each other such that the mimicry becomes unconscious and easily

(9) Generalise this to education in the culture and include our natural
drive to predict situations and getting someone near by to 'think' as I do
is possible.


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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)