Re: Subconscious Memes?

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 13:59:43 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 21 Oct 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> There is evidence, I believe for Subconscious memes. For example, yawning is
> contageous (sp?) and also you begin to subconsciously pickup and use certain
> body movements or gesjures (sp?) the people you associate with frequently.

Well, this depends on how wide your definition of meme is. I would rather
say this is a transmission of behaviors rather a transmission of
cognitive structures, so they are not really memes, but something
simpler. Perhaps an analogy could be the difference between viruses and
replicating chemicals.

> Sure, memes can be broadcast via language
> but can they be transmitted subconsciously through body movements or perhaps
> even phermones?

I doubt pheromones have high enough bandwidth, but body language can
definitely transmit memes (for example, in a group somebody can transmit
the emotion-meme "I dislike this person's smell" by body language, and
others can repeat it). Pheromones can however make transmission efficiacy
much better.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
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