Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA01889 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 26 Feb 2002 12:37:34 GMT Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D299@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: memetic species? Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 11:59:46 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
<As said earlier, if you want to use biological terms, what would be the
equivalent for things that can still interact but are not seperate
I saw a TV show a while back that astonished me as it showed a troop of
baboons and a (collective noun?) of chimps interacting. The young chimps
and baboons were playing with each other (until one lot got too rough, and
the scene broke up). Apart from the odd 'family pet (dog/cat) being
"friends" with rescued wild animal (badger etc.)' story, I'd never seen this
kind of non-predatory/territorial activity in other animals before. [I'm not
an ethologist, of course, so my experience of this is limited]
The reason I mention this is the question of memetic species. Humans kind
of interact with other animals in non-adaptive ways e.g. keeping dangerous
animals close to us in zoos as pets etc. Other animals- baboons and chimps
playing notwithstanding- don't seem to interact in the complex range of ways
I think this difference (if I'm right to see such a difference), lies at the
problem of talking about memetic species. As a
meme-as-cultural-artefact proponent one might talk of things akin to species
(although it's a poor term for my money), such as... weapons. The Mongols
were very effective against European knights, because despite their lack of
armour and small weapons they could move far more quickly than the armour
laden knights. The Japanese survived the Mongols partly due to the weather
but also due to jumping onto Mongol ships and using their superior samurai
swords to great effect.
A less combative example might be computers/video games consoles. There
have been many powerful consoles/computers that have failed outside of their
own countries regardless of their capabilities (the Sinclair Spectrum did
nothing in the US for example, the PC Engine did nothing outside of Japan a
few years later).
Sports too might count. I can't see Americans ever going for football in a
big way (not enough stats or ad breaks, and fights aren't allowed to make up
for the lack of goals, as in ice hockey... where I see that having the
referee come from one of the nations competing in the final isn't seen to be
problematic (nonetheless the glorious former colony that is Canada came
through... what was the score again... 5-2, and 3-2 in the women's final?).
Such things are distinct enough, and often closely associate with particular
geographical regions/nations/communities to kind of count, but again, I
don't really see species as a viable term for memetics.
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