Re: Aunger speaks, London 11th November

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 23:00:04 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: Mini case study of memetic mutation"

    >From: "Dace" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Re: Aunger speaks, London 11th November
    >Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 11:38:57 -0800
    > > From: "Othman Mohamed/CUSM/Reg06/SSSS" <>
    > >
    > > I also find it bizar that he was
    > > not sure whetehr Dawkins consider memes as replicators. If I remember
    > > words correctly, he said" Does Dawkins himself consider memes as
    > > replicator? Although it is not clear from his writing, it seems that he
    > > C'mon, Dawkins was very cleare in difining memes as replicators from
    > > the very first time he mentioned the idea of memes in the 1967 edition
    > > the selfish gene. In fact that is how he came about the meme idea
    > > he was looking for other replicators apart from genes.
    > >
    > > Othman
    >The question is whether memes actively replicate or are passively
    >replicated. Clearly Dawkins intended the former, and this is what defines
    >memetics against standard theories of transmission of cultural patterns
    >time. How did we get to the point where so many memetics enthusiasts deny
    >the defining feature of memes? To frame the question in terms of memetics,
    >what is the basis of the meme responsible for the belief that memes don't
    >propagate themselves?
    >The answer can be found in our obsession with mechanistic metaphors of
    >We like to think of the brain as a kind of organic computer. But the
    >information in a computer doesn't self-replicate. Even if it does get
    >copied, the information remains entirely passive during the process. In
    >mechanistic view, nothing is really "alive" or self-propelling, just
    >passively reacting to physical and chemical forces. Given the hold that
    >mechanism has over our thinking, we just don't feel comfortable with the
    >idea of something that lives and promotes itself. The drift away from
    >as replicators results from the mechanism meme, which exploits our desire
    >understand life with the same exactitude with which we understand our own
    Is it possible for you to go a post or two *without* railing against the mechanistic worldview and all the evils it has wrought? I suppose there are those times you go all Chomskyian on us, and I'm talking politically not linguistically, so those are the exceptions to bashing the mechanists and materialists ;-)

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