Re: Mini case study of memetic mutation

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu 14 Nov 2002 - 16:34:27 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "stuff from the horse"

    >> Actually, more seriously I think the virus metaphor doesn't
    >>encapsulate the spread of memes for me. After all teaching is part of
    >>cultural transmission as well, and that surely changes the environmental
    >>conditions in which any virus-like memes operate so much so that the
    >>metaphor may lose its strength.
    >Same old story - analogy gives us a partial view. I think the whole of the
    >biosphere (and the abiotic stuff to an extent) provides enough analogies to
    >cover just about all of it, but viruses are just one mode.
    >Although teaching could be analogous to an innoculation with live virus
    I like the innoculation metaphor. "Good" memes help us keep out "bad" memes. Analogy, on the other hand can't be helped. All description makes use of metaphor and all metaphor is a type of analogy. A is B = A is like B. It distorts at the same time that it enlightens.


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