Consciousness and memes (was: Good and Bad Memes ?)

Rob Geurtsen (
Thu, 23 Dec 1999 01:56:56 +0100

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 01:56:56 +0100
From: Rob Geurtsen <>
Subject: Consciousness and memes (was: Good and Bad Memes ?)

Hi guys,

(seems that an earlier email with similar answer from me didn't arrive
on the list, if it did sorry I send this message edited for the second

I agree with Tim. (Although) consciousness is an neurological
phenomena (according to Tim; read Damasio for a more detailed and
slightly different argumentation) I believe memes are not bounded by
consciousness. The memes can do without consciousness.

Whether it is birdsong or not doesn't seem to be important to me, the
meme proves itself in changing behaviour. To me it would not be an
important issue if it doesn't influence human behaviour individually
or groupswise. (By the way I am not a supporter as such for

So does that mean that Joshua 'Glok' Sutubra was wrong. No of course
All he does is relating perception and behavior solely to
consciousness. Perception and behavior are not necessarily a result
from or otherwise solely related to consciousness. Trances (that
includes hypnosis and dreams and values, etc.) are subconscious
activities and drivers for our observeable behavior.

As if behavior is a the result of consciousness? Just threaten to kill
someone, and see what happens. Set your neighbor's house on fire and
observe the guy, when his kids are threatened. There will not be much
conscious behavior involved with untrained people. Still we regard
them as humans. Definitely memes are involved. Memes as defined by
Richard Brodie in Virus of the Mind.

Maybe I am increasing the confusion, but that is probably more related
to unconscious definitions of consciousness, behavior, etc. that we
all use in the discussion but we are not clear about those
definitions, so how do you (or I should write 'we' because I seem to
be participating) know what we are discussing.

Rob Geurtsen


Tim Rhodes wrote:

> I don't think it's useful to define memes in terms of their
> with consciousness. Consciousness is an neurological phenomena.
(Which I
> believe they may have located in the brain, but I don't have the
> handy at the moment--anyone?) Memes are aided in their spread by
> actions, but I don't see what's gained by linking the two (memes and

> consciousness).
> I see what looks to me like evidence of memetic transfer in animals
we might
> easily consider without consciousness. (Birds, for instance.)
> -Tim

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joshua 'Glok' Sutubra <>
> To: <>
> Date: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 8:14 PM
> Subject: what are memes?
> >There seems to be much discussion and argument about
> >what memes actually are in the evolutionary and
> >behavioral sense. Well, here is my opinion.. memes
> >are 3 things:
> >(1)the 'building blocks' of conciousness (structure)
> >(2)the 'lenses' of consciousness (perception)
> >(3)and the 'tools' of consciousness (behavior)
> >
> >The way I see it, memes CAN account for ALL
> >conscious activity and even (hypnosis, dreams,
> >trances, etc.) subconscious activity.
> >
> >
> >=====
> >Joshua 'Glok' Sutubra
> >__________________________________________________

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)