Re: virus: Why not ramble

Brett Lane Robertson (
Tue, 21 Oct 1997 20:49:28 -0500

I'm more than ready to think there may be some other way to have a brain
activity A (without memes) and a brain activity B (with memes) other than
dreams (A) and non-autonomous conscious behavior (B).

What precedes a habitual cultural behavior? Unfortunately, the animal
studies, even the interesting ones, like bird songs and food washing, can
easily be honed by Occam as random behavioral changes. While they seem to
follow evolutionary patterns, are they culture? are they memetic?

Am I too anthro-biased when I say no?

I don't think so.
Wade T. Smith

I'll suggest "enchanted" behavior as a human (cultural) activity which can
be studied for memetic content. I define "enchanted" as "entranced" or
"mystified" (more properly a combined trance/mystified state). I loosely
include drug altered states in all three categories. I might also include
fantasy states. I can see possibilities for measuring "suggestiveness" in
trance, under trance inducing drugs, in relaxed states which might be
measured and might be termed mystified states, and--loosely--in guided
visualizations and guided fantasies. I think that "suggestiveness" might be
correlated to engineered memetic "suggestions" (that one could write a
guided fantasy which has the characteristics deemed memetically sound and
test this against a control fantasy...something like this).

I am only using cultural activity for convinience sake (more people would
agree with it and it would further your apparent aims to include everything
below human conscious action as memetic). I do not think that dreams can,
at this point, yield much objective data. I do not agree with your
assessment of animals as having genetic determinants and humans memetic
determinants but also see this avenue of difference to be unproductive at
this time.


Rabble Sonnet Retort
No man is an island, but some of us are long peninsulas.