JudyReMemes

What is a meme?

In the same way that bacteria infect the body, memes infect society. Memes are contagious, and follow the mathematical principles of systems management in that they react in a predictable fashion to opposition, cooperation, supply and to demand. Pop icons sweep through adolescents more rapidly and more efficiently than the Swine Flu . Ideas, too, sweep over different continents and cultures, although many memes are reflective of the culture which creates and maintains them.

The meme of self.

Constructing a mental model of who we are (the self) is a basic type of meme, (rhymes with cream). Recently I found a web page maintained by a psychologist in England, a PH.D. who asserts that there is no self, that Freud, et. al. are all wrong and that all that we are is body. The soul and the conscience? Made up. That author asks, "Where is the hard data on the self?" Where is the hard data to prove the dichotomy of body/mind, yet, every person I know has developed a mental model of self built almost entirely on the concept of an interior persona which relates to and influences the body but is not the body. What paradigm shift will come as a result of the 'no self' meme virulently sweeping across the world? Most believe that past experience determines present behavior. Building a mental model of self based on past experience is a flawed process. Most mental models (memes) are built on incomplete and/or incorrect data.

The meme of religion.

A universal meme is religion. All cultures adhere to some kind of religiosity. Is this because we die? And any sentient being that dies is susceptible to the viral-like meme of religion? Or is there really a God who sends coded hints about who S/he is? Again, "Where is the hard data?" Another web page author has publicly bet the farm on the universality of the religious meme. He believes that space traveling aliens, if there're out there, are sentient beings that can die. They may have technology which supports and maintains life indefinitely, but they can die, and consequently, if they come to our world, they will come with their religions. He believes, as did Einstein, that faster than light travel is impossible, so that any alien that sets out from its home world, even in suspended animation, relinquishes and forever leaves behind family, friends and home. What is the single most plausible reason why any sentient being would travel to distant worlds? Did you guess? Yes. To proselytize. They will be missionaries coming to spread the word of their God. Will they come bearing hard data on their God? Can you imagine our earth being swept up in religious mania for some compelling alien belief system? And of the memes, religion is universally compelling. The differences between our earth religions is minimal. The differences between ours and alien religions will also be minimal. Their religion will explain how life began and why. Their's will require worship and tribute and will have fearful threats and tantalizing promises to silence the noncompliant and encourage sublimation. The alien home world will, at the very least, be tolerant of the missionary's faith , and at the most, be totally supportive of it to the point that noncompliants are eliminated.

The meme of love.

How might love be defined? Each person's mental model of love is based on personal experience and cultural norms topped up with a highly efficient, heavily researched consumer rationale. Meme theorists might tell us that love is an organic manifestation calculated to illicit an equally organic response leading to procreation. Does anyone have a rational opposition to that definition? It's based on hard data. It relates only to bodily function and to survival. Reminds me of Tina Turner singing, "What's Love Got to do with It?".

The meme of nationalism.

The mental model of nationalism alludes to physical boundaries, exclusionary laws, restrictions of travel, tariffs on consumer goods, and that during times of peace. During times of survival threat, when the war drums are beating, (consumers drums?) how one speaks of this meme could culminate in life or death. We take our memes seriously. Very seriously. And the realization that most of our memes are built on flawed and inaccurate data is perhaps causative of man's continuing failure to evolve/survive as a peaceful and cooperative and inclusive species. When the banding together of a like minded group, (nationalism) is recognized as a survival imperative of the physical bodies of the inhabitants then the interactions between physical groups (countries) becomes more mathematical and predictable. Opposition, cooperation, supply of resources and the demands on those resources become the operatives of our world. Haven't they always been?

Datetag20010830 - Judy Decker


Hey, what ever happened to.....(gasp!) thinking? What about this for example

The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

I was just looking for something about Edward Gibbon and found the link to this site. Im surprised that you go along with the empiricist twaddle about memes - these lifeless things that are proclaimed to infect the brain. Im surprised because you say you were a mid-wife: havent you delivered any ideas in your time? Yes, conception and delivery.

Paul


One thing, regarding the psychologist with a PHD who claims the Human soul and conscience are made up. If this is so, who made them up? Something made up implies a conscious entity/mind who did the making up. The view this psychologist and others promote, that conscious existence is, for all intents and purposes, an illusion, is inherently contradictory (If true, then who perceives this illusion? An illusion presupposes someone perceiving that illusion. And unless an illusion can perceive itself, the subject of the illusion must have some actual existence as a conscious being). It is equivalent to someone telling you in a loud clear voice, "I can't speak!" Someone with a PHD says this? The college he went to should give him his money back!


Thank you for your response. Where is 'conscious' located? Where in the brain would it be found? The brain contains a specific locale for anger and speech, etc. Where is self awareness located? Is consciousness a sum of all parts?
In order to better understand such things, and because I hold suspect my tendency to react from emotion rather from data, I am intrigued by quantification. Please continue to explain. JD


QUOTE
" ....One thing, regarding the psychologist with a PHD who claims the HUMAN SOUL and CONSCIENCE
are made up.
If this is so, who made them up?
Something made up implies a conscious entity/mind who did the making up.
The view this psychologist and others promote, that conscious existence is, for all intents and
purposes, an illusion, is inherently contradictory
(If true, then who perceives this illusion?
An illusion presupposes someone perceiving that illusion.
And unless an illusion can perceive itself, the subject of the illusion must have some actual
existence as a conscious being).
It is equivalent to someone telling you in a loud clear voice,
"I can't speak!"
Someone with a PHD says this?
The college he went to should give him his money back! ..."

My Answer To all that ....

"I can't speak" ---> refers to the "linguistic " necessity that the speaker ( in this
example -) is the self or the I that speaks ... (IOW --> the I is the "concrete " adres from which
the message "emanated "in a communication-network -map ---> the "real world" connected "computer"
hardware-machinery where any network-virus can find a "potential host "--->
the "fertile" ground for the "mustard seed " )
--> Your remark is nothing else but a variant of descartes's " Cogito "

Note the following trivialities ;

---> If someone says " I can't speak ", and you don't actually see the speaker (the message is
coming by telephone , radio , is shouted ... whatever ) how then can you be sure of the identity
of the speaker ?
and How do you know that it is the "soul" who is speaking ---> because you suppose it must be ?
Why do you think ---> police-men must legitimate themselves before you can safely allow them
entrance to your home ? That is only a matter of precaution with high (survival ) fitness value --->
a ' learned " idiotic procedure based on a very simple rule ....? or what else ?
( don't you start now the "paranoia" crap ... )

----> Do you remember what you did as a two year old sibling ? ---> did you or did you not have
at that early stage in your life-time-spann : an "eternal soul " an I or a self , ?
If so which one ?
And how come that you did not speak then ? ( there was "Nobody " home ? )
The I was not yet constructed ?
The I program wasn't yet running ?
There weren't yet enough " inputs " present , "memory references "availeable /stored /downloaded
insufficient inbuilt processing capacities yet to set off the program ?
( = stil at the level / stage / state of "construction" in the production -development - line ? )
The "tunings " ( and set- ups ) were not yet done ( yes by the environment --->
impressing etc ... initial setting )
in short --->
not yet enough experiences nor initial conditions --> to "set off "the I program
( by push- button ---> triggering off at a certain level of stress , the go position ...)
or
The "I meme" didn't yet( at that early stage ) infect the brain ?

And
Of course there are "I" 's ( Self/ego's ) just like there are floating masses of water called

 "rivers ", "clouds"  , and other  "things" 

there are even " woods "---> however no woods WITHOUT trees are known
Why can't the I be an association / a temporal equilibrum of different memes ( and even chemicals
(as motivating drives ) involved too ---> emotions ? )

 

What is questioned is the very generalised and unclear notion of "homunculus " looking at the
screens somewhere in an "upper room " ....what' s going on in the "brain" of that homunculus ?
(a thinking-chain known as " infinite regression " ?
---> what other soul is animating the individual soul ? etc... )

 
    

What if it is NOT the self that speaks ---> but the " I - meme " who "speaks " using the hard-ware
machinery that you(can) call "I" ?

 --> Is this "I meme" your "eternal soul" or is it a " emanation " of the material machinery called 

the brain ( a fysiological product --> in the sense Lamettrie gave to it ) or something
"created ( tought up )by another all-pervading ghost " ---> the individual soul created by God ?
---> Are you able to identifie the speaker ? or do you merely suppose there is a soul called the
I ? --> a kind of "homunculus " now inhabiting your "worldly" body ?
Please answer your own question " who made them up " and at least show some evidences supporting
your assumptions ....
Who made them up ?

Care to read some Daniel Dennet ?
Maybe you should buy some books with the money
that should be returned to YOU

                             Tsjok 

Quote
The brain is wider then the sky

Sure
So you know ALL what there is to know about the "sky" ?
Why then bother about cosmology ?
Why then continu the scientific investigation of physical reality ?
Why then bother about thinking at all ?

Let me paraphrase newton :

.... we only know but a small part( shells on the beach ) of the sea of reality that lies before us ...
( maybe you can provide the actual words of newton )

or do you suppose that we already know everything there is to know ( or worse --> "need " to know ) ?

                                            Tsjok 

A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for?

The brain is larger than the sky, not because the brain knows everything about the sky. But because 'the sky' as a concept has to fit within the brain, or we would be unable to comprehend it. You may argue that there are things so large our brain cannot comprehend. But you will never prove it, for as soon as you think you have, they will no longer be larger than we comprehend. Therefore what he says is true. The brain is larger than everything it comprehends.


"We" might know everything there is to know (but we don't; ask any working scientific researcher), but I sure don't.
RadRob


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