Re: I know one when I see one

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Sun 27 Oct 2002 - 19:52:20 GMT

  • Next message: Van oost Kenneth: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    Dear Ted,

    > > > The question of memetics is the question of
    > > > whether these elements of culture carry their own momentum, their own
    > > > drive to reproduce.
    > >
    > > Bullshit.
    > I don't appreciate this. Your comment reveals hostility. Where is this
    > hostility coming from?

    I apologize for the vulgarity, Ted. But I have no hostility towards you.

    It's just that when you start personifying memes, talking about "drive to reproduce," and so on, you are not only going off into la-la land, you are setting up a paper tiger that is easy to demolish rather than addressing what memetics is really about.

    > You badly misunderstand memetics. Without "selfishness," in the sense of
    > "selfish gene," the whole idea is shot.

    What do you think the "selfishness" of the "selfish gene" means?

    > If memes are just ideas or
    > catch-phrases or tunes or habitual behaviors (like wearing a baseball cap
    > backwards), then we don't need to refer to them as memes. Unless they're
    > self-replicating, we can just as easily refer to them with the same terms
    > we've always used. It's their self-replication that marks them off as the
    > cultural equivalent of genes.

    Genes do not self-replicate, either.

    All that memes require is replication, variation, and selection.



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