Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id FAA03983 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 18 Feb 2002 05:56:49 GMT Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 21:51:16 -0800 Message-Id: <200202180551.g1I5pGi12166@mail23.bigmailbox.com> Content-Type: text/plain Content-Disposition: inline Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary X-Mailer: MIME-tools 4.104 (Entity 4.116) X-Originating-Ip: [126.96.36.199] From: "Joe Dees" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002) Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)
>Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 20:46:23 -0500
> email@example.com Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)Reply-To: email@example.com
>At 06:05 PM 11/02/02 -0500, you wrote:
>>In a message dated 2/10/2002 11:23:12 AM Central Standard Time, Keith Henson
>><firstname.lastname@example.org> [writes in thread Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of
>>3 (1988, updates 2002)]:
>> > [Not to detract from Dawkins, but as I have dug deeper into the subject,
>> > Dawkins himself recognized William Hamilton as more of an original
>> > thinker. For certain though, Dawkins made the work of Hamilton, William,
>> > Trivers and a host of other players available to ordinary people with his
>> > popular works.]
>>Credit for evolutionary replicator theory should also go to F.T. Cloak, whose
>>1973 paper developed evolutionary replicator theory for both biological
>>molecules and culture. The paper not only develops evolutionary cultural
>>replicator theory, but also evolutionary biological replicator theory.
>>I take it that giving Dawkins credit for popularizing is not meant to detract
>>from Cloak, Hamilton, Trivers, etc. either.
>No, and these guys are all very careful about giving credit. Dawkins even
>credited me in the Second Ed. of Selfish Gene for the word memeoid and its
>I *think* I have made significant advances in some areas largely due to my
>unfortunate and intimate experiences with the scientology cult. The cult
>fight led into me happening to get the input that caused me (with some
>help) to connect drugs and cults. That led to the insight that cults are
>using the same attention-endorphin reward pathway hijacked by drugs..
>It happens that my slightly later figuring out capture-bonding or Stockholm
>Syndrome as an evolved response and some of the places *that* leads may
>have been done first by John Tooby, but I don't think he published. I have
>asked him in email, but no answer back yet.
>There are excellent reasons, rooted in the days when we were hunting for
>meat rather than knowledge, to be very careful to properly acknowledging
>contributions. It was really necessary to credit the guy who scared the
>game into your snare or where you could spear it if you wanted him to do it
>Along those line when I am mentioning that Dawkins named cultural elements
>memes, I mention that Arel Lucas, my wife, suggested "memetics" as the name
>for the study of memes and the interaction of memes with their hosts.
>PS, Arel was on this list in the early days.
>PPS, cut from the Analog article of 1987
> Memetics comes from "meme" (which rhymes with "cream"), a word
>coined in purposeful analogy to gene by Richard Dawkins in his 1976
>book, _The Selfish Gene_. To understand memes, you must have a good
>understanding of the modern concepts of evolution, and this is a good
>source. In its last chapter, memes were defined as replicating
>information patterns that use minds to get themselves copied much as a
>virus uses cells to get itself copied. (Dawkins credits several
>others for developing the concepts, especially the anthropologist F.
>T. Cloak.) Like genes, memes are pure information.*
> [*The essence of a gene is in its information. It is still a gene
> "for hemoglobin" or "for waltzing behavior in mice" whether the
> sequence is coded in DNA, printed on paper, or is written on
> magnetic tape.]
> They must be
>perceived indirectly, most often by their effect on behavior or by
>material objects that result from behavior. Humans are not the only
>creatures that pass memes about. Bird songs that are learned (and
>subject to variation) and the songs of whales are also replicating
>information pattern that fit the model of a meme. So is the
>"termiteing" behavior that chimps pass from generation to generation.
> "Meme" is similar to "idea," but not all ideas are memes. A
>passing idea which you do not communicate to others, or one which
>fails to take root in others, falls short of being a meme. The
>important part of the "meme about memes" is that memes are subject to
>adaptive evolutionary forces very similar to those that select for
>genes. That is, their variation is subject to selection in the
>environment provided by human minds, communication channels, and the
>vast collection of cooperating and competing memes that make up human
>culture. The analogy is remarkably close. For example, genes in cold
>viruses that cause sneezes by irritating noses spread themselves by
>this route to new hosts and become more common in the gene pool of a
>cold virus. Memes cause those they have successfully infected to
>spread the meme by both direct methods (proselytizing) and indirect
>methods (such as writing). Such memes become more common in the
> The entire topic would be academic except that there are two
>levels of evolution (genes and memes) involved and the memetic level
>is only loosely coupled to the genetic. Memes which override genetic
>survival, such as those which induce young Lebanese Shiites to blow
>themselves "into the next world" from the front seat of a truck loaded
>with high explosives, or induce untrained Iranians to volunteer to
>charge Iraqi machine guns, or the WW II Kamikaze "social movement" in
>Japan, are all too well known. I have proposed the term "memeoid" for
>people whose behavior is so strongly influenced by a replicating
>information pattern (meme) that their survival becomes inconsequential
>in their own minds.
I use the term "memebots" to refer to the same phenomenon.
>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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