Pattern Recognition

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I like to talk. And write poetry. I paint a little too.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Patterns Recognized: A Lesson Alligators Taught Me

Saving Jambalay and filet gumbo for later... :)
This is serious stuff:

My blog address is memepools --

[memes, term coined by Richard Dawkins: who said, " Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leading from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain.
Memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically. When you plant a fertile meme in my mind, you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn't just a way of talking -- the meme for, say, 'belief in life after death' is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of people all over the world.)"]

-- but alligators got me thinking about gene pools too.

I know I inherited things from my father, things other than my nose, the look of my fingernails. The way I put a book away at the most exciting point and do something else for a while. The way I stroke my hair back. A sideways skeptical look. And now I find out, apparently my fear of alligators too.
And the alligator fear is not a meme: these are things I discovered in him after I saw them in myself. Most people think you are insane if you don't erad on at the peak of suspense in a thriller. If he had been into cassette players (yes, dates me), I suppose he too might have made a tape of one song only, and played it to death.

I love spiders, as does my mother. In Norway, they are lucky. So that may be a meme, not a gene.



Blogger petergarner said...

Yes, we slowly, agonzingly, become our parents as we age. Something to accept, I suppose, though I fought against it for years before realizing that my dad isn't such a bad dude after all. Funny, I'm not a huge fan of spiders (I wouldn't use the term "fear" but then, I'm a guy ;-). I have no idea if I inherited THAT from my dad. I know he's not to keen on heights, and that I did inherit.


2:31 AM, September 03, 2004  
Blogger paula said...

That's really interesting, Shister. I don't know where I took it, but my fear of alligators is as strong as yours; the difference is that I wouldn't touch a spider either. Both make me shiver. I inherited it from my mother; all four sisters did, in fact. My brother, on the contrary,
was scared of nothing.

8:02 AM, September 03, 2004  
Blogger Rich Rosenthal II said...

I like creatures form oh say a distance of watching em on video. Preferably animated.

9:17 AM, September 04, 2004  
Blogger Aisha said...

Peter Paula Rich -- sounds like a rhyme on robbing :)
Rob peter to give to Paul--
or robbing the Rich to give to the Po'boys --

Anyway, interesting that this started a train of thought.

Peter, sent you a spider game (evil grin)

Paula, Aligator fear was probably not passed on from your mother-- unless the river in Oderzo has them lurking?

Rich, I have seen where you keep your TV-- just hope that the gators dive into your sewing-machine. Then you can get them! (check out his blog!)


3:48 PM, September 04, 2004  
Blogger Carol from Nevada said...

The thing about memes is
no one has ever seen one
yet scientists insist they exist.

That's funny, no? Here's my little poem:

Me, I'm
waiting for a meme
to be uncovered,
photographed, brain-imaged.
You know it in your gut, it's there!
Or there. Perhaps we'll see
if we add a dose
of humility.

2:14 AM, September 11, 2004  
Blogger Aisha said...

I have been meaning to comment on this warm recommendation for more meme research...possibly even memetically modified moods?



7:41 PM, November 06, 2004  

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