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Re: [ontolog-forum] Dennett on the Darwinism of Memes

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ronald Stamper <stamper.measur@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 17:17:22 +0100
Message-id: <F4BA6033-2258-4A3C-AC40-D97480412F5A@xxxxxxxxx>

Dear colleagues, 

Memes operate through specialised clusters of social norms. A well exercised perceptual norm draws the meme to our attention; then a cluster of semiological norms that encode its rich set of connotations, then triggers other powerful norms provoking attitudes of many kinds: emotions, behavioural dispositions, expectations, other perceptions . . . 

We cannot disconnect information from social norms without treating it as more or less a physical phenomenon, as computer science does.  Norms determine what information people need to function socially, especially collaboratively.  

I hope that discussing memes will draw attention to the essential role of norms in the functioning of every human information system, which distinguishes them from IT systems.  Disregarding norms allows us to treat semantics in the artificial, mechanistic, OWL-oriented paradigm that seems to dominate most Ontolog discussions.  Real-world semantics, is impossible without understanding the continual interplay between norms and signs (information).

Ronald Stamper

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