Re: Wilson on memes (fun example)

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 01:39:23 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Wilson on memes (fun example)
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    >Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 21:30:50 -0500
    > Keith Henson <> Re: Wilson on memes (fun example)Reply-To:
    >At 07:36 PM 15/02/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >>Hi Keith Henson -
    >> >Personally I think that attempts to give exact definitions are a waste of
    >> >time. If you get to the stage of modeling or even thought experiments, it
    >> >is clear from the model or the math what you are doing.
    >>That seems perfectly self-consistent.
    >>And there are several models. I'm not a mathematician, but, is there one
    >>that shows a meme is a requirement, or that models human behavior
    >>successfully because of its inclusion? Or are there merely experimental
    >>models that use a meme (of whatever definition) as a constant somehow?
    >>Or is there one that makes a meme an obvious derivation?
    >>Again, IMHO, there is not, unless the meme is behavioral.
    >Here is a meme. Make a square of 9 dots. The problem is how do you
    >connect all these dots with no more than 4 line segments and without
    >lifting a pencil?
    >o o o 1 2 3
    >o o o 4 5 6
    >o o o 7 8 9
    >The trick is that you go "outside the box." The first line goes through 1,
    >2, 3 then 6, 8 then 7, 4, 1 then 5 and 9.
    >Once you know the trick (are there any on this list who did not know
    >previously?) or figure it out you have been changed. If presented by this
    >puzzle, you go zip, zip, zip, zap, done. You don't need more than this
    >explanation or to see a picture of the problem solved once.
    >Those who have been exposed and picked up this meme can be sorted out from
    >those who do not by an extremely simple test. But though some may have
    >done the puzzle and therefore exhibited behavior, some may have only read
    >about as you are here and until tested there is no behavior. So people can
    >pick up memes passively with no behavior involved, and if they don't come
    >upon the puzzle, they my *never* evidence the behavior. They can, of
    >course, pass it on the way I am doing here.
    >Perhaps from this example you can see why I consider the "meme of how to
    >solve the 9 dot puzzle" information, along with all other memes.
    Another example of such a puzzle is as follows:
    How do you arrange ten dots so that five lines each connecting four dots may be formed?
    One might think: Wait a minute! Five times four is twenty, twice the number of dots, so's it's impossible. But then one figures out that each dot has to be used twice in order to fulfill the conditions, or for each one only used once, another has to be used three times.
    The answer is to draw a pentagram, and dot the tips and the intersection points.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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