Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri Mar 08 2002 - 06:34:33 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme
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    > **An aggressive meme is a meme that is designed to emphasize on
    > transmission rather than virtue.**

    > Just re-reading this and that last bit caught my eye.
    > Not withstanding my earlier post about the use of words to describe
    > 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
    > Full stop. Any effects or apparent benefits on people are coincidental
    > 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.

    Memes have no goal. It's the hosts who use memes to achieve goals. Memes
    are and the memes who can persuade the hosts (by offering fitness
    increments, genuine or false)
    most frequently to adopt them dominate over rivaling memes. There are lots
    of good memes
    who die out because they fail to be sufficiently replicated. For instance,
    ideas and inventions
    on how to exploit alternative energy resources are bought up by the
    oil-industry for obvious reasons.

    Just like genes, memes come in all sorts and shapes, some are successful and
    some are not.
    This is reflected by their adoption or transmission rates. Only the
    successful memes have
    emphasized sufficiently on transmission and thus were prevented from being
    swept away
    by rivaling memes.

    > 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
    > replicate or the mutation rate is such that it can be changed as a result
    > 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
    > I.E. each generation of the meme may be subject, due to the hearing of one
    > of the participants, to arbitrary change.

    Chinese whisper is not as much about natural selection as it is about
    mutation. Each time the
    meme is passed on to its neighbor it's distorted, transformed mutated (you
    get the picture now).
    After going round the circle, the meme might be completely transformed into
    something completely
    different from the original.
    In biology mutation together with sex defines one vital component of natural
    selection: variation.
    The other two are: selection and retentive reproduction.

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




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