Re: memetic memes

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 19:58:42 BST

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    Subject: Re: memetic memes
    Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 09:58:42 -0900
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    > I recently discovered a book on Erasmus Darwin so, of course, instead of
    > studying for my Spanish test, I found myself delving into the intriguing
    > of the memetic evolution of science. You see, Erasmus Darwin was the
    > doctor of his day, completely versed in the latest "bleeding" technology
    > (sarcasm), but nevertheless wanted far and wide for his services (by none
    > other than King George...the third I think?). He was known to associate
    > Rousseau and Watt, amongst oyther great minds, and devised all sorts of
    > mechanical devices. He was the first person to observe and describe the
    > effects that oxygen had on blood and was active in the debate about
    > (silly 18th century). He also dabbled in poetry, and had a knack for
    > scientific themes into his poetry, particularly evolution.This legacy was
    > left to Darwin, or Patrick Matthew if you want to lend credit where credit
    > due.
    > I find this interesting because here is the dawn of an age (perhaps a peak
    > an age or half way up the peak, for our purposes it matters not) where man
    > manipulates his environment, not only with simple logic, but by reasoned
    > scientific inquiry into the mechanics of nature. This is where materialism
    > takes firm hold of the rational human mind. So why, if we are now rational
    > beings, does irrationality continue unabated in the world? I suggest
    > and just plain uninformed, people.

    Hi Randy, it may be true that nowadays humans are in general and averaged
    the population more rational than in the dark ages but irrationality still
    sway though. As long as there are irrational memes floating around which
    have sufficiently high persuasion power (referred to here on the list as
    parasitic, cancerous or viral memes) they *will* get their share of hosts.
    In the long run, however, I would expect `rational' memes to survive and
    dominate the
    niches in the hosts. But we haven't quite reached a irrational meme free soc
    iety yet
    and will never reach it as high persuasion memes (whether they be good
    (=rational) or
    bad (=irrational)) will always get an initial edge over the memes who have
    lower persuasion power but perhaps have a more rational value.
    In the end, as with commerce, it all boils down to proper (read aggressive)

    To inform the hosts on which memes to adopt and which not to, helps greatly
    I think to approach an irrational meme free society, provided of course that
    the information has a rational basis. Science facilitates the implementation
    such a measure.


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