Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Sun Mar 17 2002 - 20:55:27 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes
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    Hi Kenneth
    > Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 10:55:24 +0100
    > From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    > Subject: Re: Cultural traits and vulnerability to memes
    > - ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Steve Drew <>
    >> I agree we do react a lot of the time. Another feature that aids the
    >> reaction time is by the construction of stereotypes which are cognitive
    >> shortcuts in decision making.
    > Steve,
    > OK, I agree, but IMO, those stereotypes does not have to be ' chosen '
    > by/ on a Darwinian bias. They just could be counted as such.

    My understanding of what stereotypes are is that it is the ability to
    construct them which is Darwinian in origin, not the stereotypes that are
    selected and used. There is, however, a degree of environmental
    reinforcement of what constitutes the actual stereotype and a persons
    reaction to it, so yes i agree up to a point.
    >> Yes it can. If your running on 'auto', then your reactions are those that
    >> are hard wired, or constitute a repetitive learned behaviour. How you
    > behave
    >> in the environment as a result of these 'auto' behaviours is no different
    > to
    >> any other creature. It is the thinking that separate us from animals. But
    >> even then our active decisions are ultimately Darwinian in character.
    > << Again, those ' auto ' behaviors can be counted as Darwinian charac-
    > ters where in fact they are/ can be Lamarckian in origin.
    > Those behaviors could have been intentionally be chosen as the best there
    > was, and did became during the eons of time ' auto '- active behavioral
    > traits. There is no way of telling what views lies at the bias for each be-
    > havior/ habit possible. It all is conformity, conjecture and contemplation_
    > our ancestors, and I agree under environmental keen/ pin pressures
    > could have ' chosen ' the behavior what suits them best_ then, they
    > become ultimately Darwinian in character seen by us.
    > Jumping from bush to bush to evade predators was maybe the best way
    > out on the savanne and nowadays the same thing is still in use ( soldiers)
    > but there are only a few shrubs left. Does the auto than still apply !?

    Yep. If i explode a paper bag next to a new born child it will cry (i'm
    guessing, i don't do it! :-) ). If i do it unsuspecting to an adult their
    adrenaline rushes in and their heart rate accelerates etc. Although soldiers
    are conditioned intensively, IIRC, they still have that same reaction, just
    with a little more control than most of us.

    For myself i am reasonably convinced of the applicability of Lamark to
    memetics and i agree that the Darwinism (and biological allusion's as well)
    can be taken too far. But behaviours and ideas can be subject to Darwinian
    pressure's, particularly if the idea is a stupid and dangerous one :-)
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth



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