Re: Meme-physics

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 23 Oct 2002 - 02:19:37 GMT

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    >From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Meme-physics
    >Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 23:27:55 -0700
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > As I am a completely new kid on this block allow me to introduce myself
    > > briefly at first.
    > >
    > > My name is Darek Glazewski. I am a sociologist from Poland and am
    > > working on my doctoral dissertation. A few years ago I came across the
    > > 'meme' and I instantly got interested. Of course, the first book I had
    > > about memetics in was Dawkins' Selfish Gene.
    > >
    > > My master's diploma paper focused on the role language plays in social
    > > But I also added an additional chapter introducing a new approach to
    > > studying culture which, of course, was memetics. Since then I have
    > > a few articles in our university's annual anthology and one of the
    > > was devoted to memetics. Frankly speaking, it is extremely difficult to
    > > a professor who can/wants to review papers in this field in Poland. But
    > > is not my point here. So let me get to the point.
    > >
    > > First of all, I am going to write my dissertation in memetics. I am
    > > to find someone or someone's work which aimed at carrying out a
    > > or should I say sociolinguistic research (e.g. of slang, idiomatic
    > > expressions, slogans etc) from the perspective of the memetic theory.
    > > Therefore, I would be really obliged if you could help get in touch with
    > > person who has already tried to do it.
    > >
    > > Then, I am also interested in getting in touch with somebody who has
    > > to analyze memes as forms of energy. Information can be (according to
    > > law of thermodynamics) expressed as energy. Should memes be considered
    > > of transferring information and/or conveying messages, I claim they
    > > be presentable as forms of energy. Energy which is capable of
    > > largely human mind and counsciousness and, in a way, as many forms of
    > > energy, it should be capable of shaping/reorganising matter.
    > >
    > > I strongly believe that analysing memes as portions of energy and
    > > way of combining memetics with Shannon's information theory as well as
    > > law of thermodynamics (growing entropy) would take memetics into a more
    > > scientific than philosophical direction.
    > >
    > > I will be glad if anyone could help me. I am sorry if my message doesn't
    > > comply with some internal netiquette of this discussion group. I should
    > > blame it on my being an absolute novice here. I will reaaly appreciate
    > > feedback and guidance. I am strongly convinced that memtics has a real
    > > potential as a descriptive and explanatory tool but I simply think that
    > > has to follow a straight path created by contemporary methodology (much
    > > am aware that this methodology may simply be of memetic nature or, as
    > > put it, it may be a paradigm waiting for a revolution :-)) )
    > >
    > > Best regards,
    > > Darek Glazewski
    >It sounds to me that you want to revamp memetics into a more physical
    >Perhaps we should consider baptizing it meme-physics.
    >I agree with you that memes are all about information but I fear it would
    >be a formidable task to recast the whole theory in terms of energy,
    >information and entropy. Perhaps you may want to have a look what the
    >fellers at genetics have done already, after all one of memetics' floaters
    >analogy with genetics. If you want to describe memetics as a physics you
    >to describe evolution in terms of physics. People working on evolutionary
    >(of whatever phenomenon) may be of help to you. Is there a Derek Gatherer
    >the house?
    >Anyway welcome aboard the band-wagon called memetics Darek, and oh
    >no need to be apologetic regarding topics and such. Basically anythings
    >on this list with the exception of name-calling and insulting pink
    And why would you find pink unicorns insulting? I find it revealing that you wouldn't even consider the possibility that memes are illusory constructs.

    There's lots to be said for holding one's ideas at an arm's length, where they can be easily disposed if they require the circular file treatment. Emotional investment makes this task all the more difficult.

    Kinda reminds me of the movie "Old Yeller" when I think about it. If memes are truly viral, who will step forward to put them down?

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