Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sat Mar 09 2002 - 01:20:24 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Example of an aggresive irrational meme
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    > > In biology mutation together with sex defines one vital component of
    > > selection: variation.
    > > The other two are: selection and retentive reproduction.

    > Fair enough. I just didn't think i needed to break it down that much to
    > the point. I know some people have tried, not too convincingly to my mind,
    > to bring the sex angle into memetics, but i think it is best left with
    > biology. What would be an equivalant way for mutation to occur memetically
    > if we removed the biological idea of sex?

    I do think that memetical evolution has a sexual component. In biological
    sex proved an excellent way to constitute high level of variation and to
    disseminate useful genes (acquired through mutation) through the population.
    The same thing
    also happens in culture. Allow me to explain. In biology, gene-hosts
    copulate to exchange
    and disseminate good genes (compare sexual reproduction with its slow
    asexual reproduction in which variation relies exclusively on the sporadic
    If you forget about the erotic connotations for a second, you may appreciate
    that a
    similar thing takes place in memetic evolution. In fact culture is one big
    orgie and new
    memes get born out of existing ones after a multitude of meme-hosts have put
    their heads together.
    Consider for instance the marriage between mathematics and physics:
    mathematicians and
    physicists combined make a great pair. Why? Together they make the clock
    tick in science
    as mathematics is the language needed by physicists which in turn stimulates
    and triggers
    new research in math. The offspring of their wedding have always turned out
    to be
    vital for scientific research.
    You can even take it further and state that culture would not have reached
    the level
    it now has without memetic sex (the same goes for biology too).
    Culture as an evolving entity is a collective enterprise of a group of
    agents acting in unity.
    Meme hosts constantly have cultural sex in order to produce new ideas,
    solutions to problems, theories, and what not. After all what are meetings
    It's just another orgie of memes.

    Also memes have `sex' in your head too. There also memes interact with other
    to produce new ones. This is what abstract or creative thinking is all about
    for instance.
    There is where the parallel with biology ends of course.


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