RE: Inernal meme?

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 10:37:29 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 10:37:29 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: RE: Inernal meme?
In-Reply-To: <2CDFE2C8F598D21197C800C04F911B203493C8@DELTA.newhouse.akzo

At 09:11 AM 9/30/99 +0200, Gatherer, D. (Derek) wrote:
>I have no quibble with calling words and other people who speak them part
>of one's environment. Whether we agree to use the word "meme" for it or
>not, one can be more specific and identify sub-sectors of the environment.
>What concerns me is the demolition of internalist memetics, so let's stick
>to the internalist definition of a meme as a homoderivative mnemon
>If the amygdalar response is to an aspect of the environment, then surely,
>according to your definition, it is always heteroderivative, and thus not a

The most proximate amygdalar response is to an aspect of the environment
that cannot be called "the same" as whatever internal brain condition
(hypothesized to correspond to word learning and memory) that is evidenced
by the amygdalar response. In virtually any proposed chain of causation,
one can propose a chain of sub-causations. Remember that A + ~A --> 2A is
only proposed as an abstract *summary* of what may be a very complicated
transmission process. A mother might, for instance, use a word many times
before her baby learns it. In each one of those word usages, I presume that
one can eventually discover many sub-causations leading to the word being
spoken by mother. Then there is for each a subsequent chain of causation
involving sound wave transmission, inner ear vibrations, aural nerve
responses, etc.

Anyway, given that your concern is not presently with "...willing to be
that such things [internal memes] exist if the evidence is great enough"
(your starting 9/24/99 post), but rather with demolition, I am now bowing
out of the discussion. The objective is not as neutral as it appeared, and
I am not interested in merely helping you select from among the various
demolition devices you might try to apply in some upcoming paper.

--Aaron Lynch

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