Re: virus: Does a dog have meme-nature?

Peter =?iso-8859-1?Q?=D6kner?= (
Tue, 4 Jun 1996 19:44:37 +0100

Can we communicate with dogs? Do dogs communicate among themselves? Of cours=
As Reed and Brad have pointed out, anything that is tought is memetic, even
among chimps.
Bury the bone might be hardwired, but fetch the ball isn't.
Grants definition of meme, the one i take to be standard, should be revised:
"meme (pron.`meem=B4) A contagious information pattern that replicates by
symbiotically" OR PARASITICALLY " infecting human " OR OTHER " minds and
altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern." OR CAUSING
The point of this is that communication does not have to be verbal and it
does not need to be understood, it only needs to have a desirable effect.
Ballet is memetic. ( And understanding is a pretty wobbly concept anyhow.)
A human can teach a dog to play fetch the ball and the dog can teach
another human in reverse.
The dog can also be a passive carrier. for example, the game inspires a
spectator to try the same with his dog.

>Instead of asking "Do dogs have memes?" why not ask "Does memetics explain
>anything about dogs we were wondering about before the idea came along?"

Well it would help explain the evolutionary changes in dogs that have made
them so perceptable to memetic interaction with humans, but less able to
fend for themselves. So it's a useful analogy with how humans evolved to
be memetic servants.

"I'm only mentioning all of these animal 'thought experiments' to poke at
the fuzzy boundaries.... perhaps the notion that memetics, like
cognition, may not be the sole purview of humans... and whatever that then
means about the kinds of organisms that memes can survive in."

This ties in to something i have been thinking about. What is the memetic
future of cyberspace? Artificial Intellegence can and will be created to
propagate and develop memes in this new ecosphere. Then,
what will the memetic interaction between humans and AI:s be like?
And who will be chasing the ball?

Peter =D6kner

Memes wants to be free