Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Thu Mar 07 2002 - 20:57:15 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme"

    Received: by id VAA25439 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Thu, 7 Mar 2002 21:04:45 GMT
    X-Originating-IP: []
    User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.0.3
    Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2002 20:57:15 +0000
    Subject: Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme
    From: Steve Drew <>
    To: <>
    Message-ID: <>
    In-Reply-To: <>
    Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 07 Mar 2002 20:59:26.0204 (UTC) FILETIME=[F735EBC0:01C1C61A]
    Precedence: bulk

    Hi Philip

    > Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 10:35:00 -0900
    > From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    > Subject: Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme
    > Hi Steve,
    >>> IMHO: In My Humble Opinion;
    >>> IMO: In My Opinion;
    >>> IIRC: If I Recall (Remember or perhaps Retrieve) Correctly;
    >>> LOL: Lots of Laughs;
    >>> FUBAR: Go See `Saving Private Ryan';
    >> I've seen Saving Private Ryan, but don't recall FUBAR
    > That's weird, because the acronym was used repeatedly and was
    > even elaborated upon by corporal Upham. Anyway, I'll quit playing around:
    > FUBAR: Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition...
    > Ring a bell?
    >>> ps. As for not passing on: yes it is... perhaps not to everyone but it
    > still
    >>> winded up in
    >>> my mailbox.
    > Steve:
    >> Many things have transmission potential, but die due to the environment
    > they
    >> find themselves in. This one died in my environment (my brain) as i refuse
    >> to pass it on.
    > It only `died out' in your mind, not in many (less rational) others....
    > Steve:
    >> Also IMO memes don't have traits such as aggressive or irrational any more
    >> than they have a colour, as the meme is the behaviour, rather than a
    >> possessor of the behaviour.
    > Of course, qualifiers like `aggressive', 'nice' or 'selfish' pertain only to
    > decision making
    > entities. In memetics when we say a meme is aggressive, selfish we mean that
    > in a metaphorical
    > not literal way.

    **An aggressive meme is a meme that is designed to emphasize on
    transmission rather than virtue.**
    > Philip.

    Just re-reading this and that last bit caught my eye.

    Not withstanding my earlier post about the use of words to describe meme's,
    this again falls foul of the use metaphor. I know this seems picky and is
    not intended to be, but i think we have to be careful of the language we
    use. I understand that by aggressive you mean the emphasis is on
    transmission, but that is true of any meme, (and biologist can correct me
    if I'm wrong, of genes). The primary 'goal' for either is to be replicated.
    Full stop. Any effects or apparent benefits on people are coincidental from
    the meme's eye point of view. And as Grant might suggest, it is these
    qualities we use in choosing the memes that we do.

    But from the meme's point of view it is irrelevant. It is not because they
    are aggressive but because they fit that particular environment in which to
    replicate or the mutation rate is such that it can be changed as a result of
    the environment in which it finds itself. A silly example might be a
    'Chinese whisper' where people in a circle pass on a word or phrase at a
    very low audible threshold, which introduces a method of natural selection.
    I.E. each generation of the meme may be subject, due to the hearing of one
    of the participants, to arbitrary change.

    There is a meme for behaviour, but not a meme with behaviour.

    It doesn't stop me from getting the two confused.



    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Mar 07 2002 - 21:15:02 GMT