Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>

From: Douglas P. Wilson (
Date: Sun May 12 2002 - 16:34:49 BST

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    From: "Douglas P. Wilson" <>
    Subject: Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>
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    I'd just like to note my agreement with Kenneth Van Oost,
    (at very least) wrt his message in reply to Tom Potocki,
    but I'd like to echo Tom's and perhaps help him get the kind of answer he

    Tom wrote:

    > can anyone direct me to a list where people
    > ***actually*** discuss memetics? (i am starting to
    > suspect this isnt the place).

    Memetics is a much bigger field than it might seem at first. The name was
    coined by Richard Dawkins who wrote about it in The Selfish Gene and The Blind
    Watchmaker -- as I suppose every on this list knows, and most of you have
    probably read the books, too. If not, you should perhaps, they are very good.

    The the scope of Dawkins' analogy with genetics should not be underestimated.
    As the discipline of Genetics covers all life on the planet, except possibly,
    computer viruses, if you think they are alive -- I don't, then Memetics covers
    all ideas, all information flow, all of human culture. So it is hard to think
    or discuss anything without being intimately involved in applied memetics.

    When something is that pervasive, the distinquishing words, gene, meme,
    genetics, memetics and so on are often left off as understood. Lots of people
    do memetics either in theory or in application, without ever realizing it.
    But yes, I too would like a place to discuss memetics very explicitly.

    I actually joined this memetics list with three goals in mind:
    (1) to participate in discussions about memetics, and stuff,
         (I have, and hope it's been OK),
    (2) to find some other memetics and related lists where I could do the same,
         (little luck so far), ... and, last, but not least,
    (3) to lure people towards my own lists, especially my Memetic Flowers mailing
          (little luck so far -- if you want to help remedy this failing, send a
    blank e-mail
           message to

    I like this memetics list very much, since I have read many fine messages,
    received many intelligent, learned, and provocative replies, and even, to my
    great surprise, have had a few people agree with something I had to say --
    almost unprecedented.


    Hi Tom,

    I understand your POV, but we do actually discuss memetics here you
    know !
    Maybe you are in for some theoretical discussion on how memes pro-
    pagate, evolve or come into being, be our guest please, we will respond.
    Like, I think it was Vincent, wrote some time back a similar post, the
    people on this list start from their own field of experience/ interest and
    we often drift from the intentional thread, but memes are at work !

    Like the mails Scott and I send to this list, we discuss not only politics
    but do in fact explore how Sharon, Israel and the world, and thus how Scott,
    you and I think, evolve and behave.
    In a way, your posting to this list makes one thing clear, your memes are
    at work and some defense- systems alarmed you that something is
    wrong. Nothing is, by the way, it is just that your memes give you and
    therefor themselves another angle to look at things, what I understand.

    Memes can be different things, strands of cultural info; an existing code;
    an idea that thinks for itself; an idea that has replicated atleast once;...
    they can be a special class of creativity- creations, they can have crea-
    tivity potential, something that can/ may/ should fit into a culture,...
    If memes can be all of that or all of that together, than yes discussions
    about politics, language, etc... are important. It is just that everyone
    for him- or herself must drawn the consequencies or the points of inte-
    rests he/ she needs for his/ her own analyse(s).

    Personaly I use memetics a lot in my work, it helps me to understand
    the people I work with better, and from time to time, like I already
    mentioned on this lust I * misuse * what I know for my own benefit.
    That too is memetics....

    In what part of memetics are you especially interested in !?
    Hope this helps though !




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