Re: MemeticsFlowers.Org and mailing list

From: Douglas P. Wilson (
Date: Fri Mar 29 2002 - 11:14:32 GMT

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    From: "Douglas P. Wilson" <>
    Subject: Re: MemeticsFlowers.Org and mailing list
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    Scott Chase <> wrote:

    > Sorry. At first sight, MemeticsFlowers did seem way over the top. So if I
    > get you right you would consider a webpage as an attractive flower-like
    > of organ which has attributes making it a facilitator of the spread of

    ..... ideas, memes, meme-complexes, or memetic organisms, including research
    and development projects, software, and other web pages, and conceptually,
    at least, symphonies, novels, etc.

    > memetic pollen or something like that? Websites have anthers/filaments
    > and/or stigma/styles/ovaries so to speak?

    Please do not dilute or diminish the grand generality of the meme concept by
    seeking too exact an analogy.

    I suppose you meant your comments humorously, but if you will humour me for
    the moment, please don't expect memetic flowers (see
    www.SocialTechnology.Org/MemeticFlowers.html) to be any more analogous to
    the more ordinary real world and very visible angiosperm sex organs, (the
    ones that male human beings give to female ones to symbolise their desire
    for sexual activities with them), than any of the many kinds memes are
    strictly analogous to the genes encoded in DNA and representing
    approximately a template for one enzyme each -- (the dogmatic one-gene, one
    enzyme theory has been refuted but is still, I think, approximately true,
    with a few conspicuous exceptions).

    The concept of meme is much broader than this much more limited definition
    of what a gene is, and what is so great about Richard Dawkins and his idea
    is just this truly grand generality. I can only hope the concept of
    memetic flower can be equally broad and inclusive.

    > ... Are we kinda like pollinators then? The websites have
    > nifty colors and designs which bring us in to their clutches?

    Yes, some do, and many more are intended to, but the concept is not
    limited to web sites and can include any other item of communication which
    attracts attention and eventually imitation.

    > I'm having a vision of a male "wasp" being duped by a memetic orchid...OK
    > I'll not go there. That's more risque than the round and waggle dance as
    > means of communicating whereabouts of nearby memetic flowers.


    Anyway, I hope you will find MemeticFlowers a catchy name for an important
    concept, and I will in return find your comments delightfully humorous and
    themselves an aid in propagating the MemeticFlowers idea, and thus a simple
    (if silly) kind of memetic flower themselves.


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