Re: virus: Re: sociological change

Alex Williams (
Sat, 21 Dec 1996 16:56:55 -0500 (EST)

> Whereas I have no problem with culture being dependant upon artifact, in
> fact, I demand it.

Awfully homocentric, aren't we?

Perhaps its my background in the art of computer programming and the
rigorous theological issues we have to deal with within (emacs or vi,
C or LISP?) but in my mind, the more generic the process, the happier
I am with it. To me, memetics seems to be about more than what we
/do/ see, but also what we /might/ see, and as long as there are memes
to be experienced in a mind, human or not, complex or simple, I have a
feeling memetics and the theories it engenders may be fruitfully

> Regardless of any social interaction or learning or anthropomorphic
> interpretation of sounds, what even chimpanzees possess is not a culture.
> Social behavior is a varied and complex set of actions. An artifact
> defines a culture. No human species, even without a written language,
> existed without artifact.

That's /very/ interesting; I could have sworn humans pre-existed
language. Unless they inherited it through theological or mystical
means, I dare say that humanity (and thus, the ability to host memes,
simple as they must be) pre-existed both written language, spoken
language, even the beginnings of wide-spread tool use. It begs the
question of where do you begin to allow humanity to be defined and
where their cultures became manifest.

> Culture is Level 1.

And yet we've spoken of people in modern society having Level 0
thought. This points out one of my complaints with the entire `level
theory' process.

In a sense, I can tie this together with my disregard and distaste for
level-based role playing games. It sums too many dispartate things
together and is, in the end, a meaningless mish-mosh.