Re: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions

Wade T.Smith (
Fri, 1 Oct 1999 07:33:47 -0400

Subject: Re: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 07:33:47 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: "Memetics Discussion List" <>

>Birdsong is not memetic--bird songs, however, are.

Okay, I do actually see this distinction- this definition of what a
memetic thing is. But saying that a bird's song is a memetic entity only
changes the term, or allows it to be set into some other formula, and
does nothing about describing the mechanism that got the bird to sing.

And I, personally, want the answer to why the bird sings. Are the actual
memes it produces enough evidence of this? So far, I think not, anymore
than the actual color of one's shoes is evidence of the mechanism that
got them on the feet.

>Changes aesthetics alone do not explain.

Never said they did, or could. Aesthetics is an analysis of art. Many
memeticists however, say that memetics does explain these changes. I say,
show me the changes first. Show me the mechanism. I think, right now,
that the mechanism is innate, part of behavior. Behavioural
environmentalism is what I think memetics should be. Environmental
behavioralism? Something like that.

>I'm speechless!

reason to see pet-training behavior as genetically warranted, in that it
is a bird's song we sing to our pets, which is a bird's song of a
behavior combatting loneliness, among other things.

But, hey, I like this better, to be up front- I can touch this
environmental behavioralism, I can make it move across time and into the
artistic arena. With memetics, I was left with straw and asked to stop
the wolf.

I guess I'll be outa here soon....

- Wade

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