Re: implied or inferred memes

Bill Benzon (
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 19:48:11 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 19:48:11 -0400
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: implied or inferred memes

>At 04:12 PM 10/4/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>However, what if there are 37+ different ways (L-memes) to produce the
>>G-meme? In that case, the imitation will be successful if anyone of them
>>is created. Does it make sense to call anyone of them a meme, or the set
>>as a whole a meme? It's the G-meme that's replicated, not the mental
>>whatever that subserves it.
>Keep in mind, an L-meme is analogous to a gene.

Yes, I know this. My point was that the mind/brain entity
reverse-engineered from the G-meme isn't a meme at all because there is no
necessarily close relationship between the G-meme and any particular
mental/neural schema for it.

>There are no explicit DNA sequence expressions that can be mechanistically
>tied to macroscopic traits. At best, we can say 'chunks' of DNA are highly
>correlated to phenotypic trait (blue eyes, etc). The same can be said for
>L-memes, a 'chunk' of brain tissue can be correlated to phenotypic behavior
>(Broca's area is correlated to speech, knee jerk reflexes are correlated to
>nerves localized in the leg).

I don't think such a macro brain area as Broca's area is a useful analgue
to some chunk of DNA tissue.

>None of this helps very much with mapping the distribution of Jazz skills,
>but it represents a start.
>There are probably millions of ways for L-memes to produce G-memes, just as
>there is many combinations of cells capable of producing blue eyes from

But how many blue pigments are there?

>Just as we have ways of finding isomorphism of 'genes' in millions of
>unique DNA sets, there are probably ways for finding isomorphism in
>L-memes. At a fundamental level, nerve cells work alike. We are retarded
>by our test equipment. It is just a matter of time before limited
>isomorphism of neural configuration can be correlated to behaviors.

Well, if folks like Walter Freeman are correct, then the correlation you're
looking for may not be possible, even in principle. It may not be a matter
of instrumentation at all. It may just be that the relationship between
the neural schemas and patterns of synaptic excitability is indirect and
fairly abstract.

>I am not holding my breath for this to assist anyone interested in the
>replication of Jazz skills.
>>It's the G-meme that's replicated, not the mental
>>whatever that subserves it.
>I am not going to argue against G-meme replication. It just doesn't make
>much difference with regard to the study of L-memes. L-meme replication is
>probably ontogenetic and only marginally influenced by environmental
>effects when compared to the influence of internal processes.

Well, yeah, certainly the mind/brain is a product of development. But it's
not at all clear to me that this development involves mental memes. It
involves the development of neural structures capable of imitating the
G-memes required by the local culture.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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