Re: virus: Definition of meme (from alt.memetics)

Wade T.Smith (
Thu, 2 Jan 97 16:48:54 -0500

>> But that would pretty well seal the debate about memetics being a
>> science, wouldn't it?
>Science works with imprecise terms all the time, terms which various
>groups define slightly differently, /especially/ in the soft sciences.

Yes, indeed, to a point, but I've always been a little disappointed with
such looseness, and any 'hard' science does not deal with imprecise
terms. I would like memetics to be a 'hard' science.

>> I actually woke up this morning with a kernel of a scintilla of an idea
>> about what a meme may actually be, all to do with the actual
>> electro-chemical formation of memory, a new and recently augmented
>> neurobiochemical study, and fascinating.
>It'd be nice if you generalized it beyond neurochemical capability,
>however. We can concieve of applying meme-analysis to non-human and
>non-organic intelligences as well.
>Now, maybe you should look into infomation-theoretic analysis of
>processes and consciousness and apply the terminology to that level, as
>defined seperately from whatever physical matrix gives rise to it.

I am only still in the generalization stage, as I am not in any way
involved with cognitive or neurochemical research, but have an interest.
Recent discoveries about memory and the agents thereof set off my current
train of thought, where memes are, yes thusly, neurochemical in basis
(ain't everything?), and there would need to be the memetics of why they
are in the location they are, cuz in memory, location is important,
though not everything. The processes of memory would _be_ memetics. Which
gives rise to the following-

>> the memory process of a brain, and more specifically within the conscious
>> memory functions, is the way to go.
>This certainly /feels/ right, no matter what the matrix of consciousness
>underlying is. You can't really have memes without active memory.

Which, like you say, feels right.

>> Yes, this means I think there are no memes in dreams.
>> Is that a heresy?
>Depends on how you define dreaming. I've had memes occur when
>considering the dreams I had the night before (or immediately
>preceeding). Saying dreams /themselves/ don't contain memes is no more
>heretical than saying that no /perception/ carries memes, which you've
>already bought into by supporting the Zanderian Heresy. :)

Yes, seems I have bought in. Just increasing my investment, I guess....

Wade T. Smith | 'If it ain't broke, | no-one's used it yet.'
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