RE: Complexity and Memetics

Date: Wed 04 Dec 2002 - 19:25:52 GMT

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    > Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002 20:23:12 -0500
    > From: Ray Recchia <>
    > Subject: Re: Complexity and Memetics
    > At 11:35 AM 12/3/2002 -0500, you wrote:
    > >Hello memetics list,
    > >
    > >
    > >My name is Sam Rose. I'm an independent researcher of Complex
    > >Adaptive Systems, memetics, futures studies, and media ecology. I've
    > >spent the last couple of years studying the BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL
    > >emergent, cyclical levels of existence (ECLET) theories of Dr Clare W
    > >Graves and it's spin
    > >off theories. I haven't had the chance to comb through all of the
    > >archives yet, but I was hoping to strike up a dialogue here relating
    > >complexity to memetics.
    > >
    > >So far, my only exposure to memetics has been through Aaron Lynch's
    > >"Thought Contagion" Robert Aunger's "Darwinizing Culture" and "The
    > >Electric Meme" (still reading electric meme now). If anyone can
    > >recommend any other work, feel free to do so.
    > I have some ideas that I'd like to toss at someone who has a good
    > grasp of the concepts in 'The Origins of Order' by Stuart Kauffman.
    > More complexity related than memetically related but I've been
    > wrestling with it for over a year now. In the same vein you might
    > look at 'The Major Transitions in
    > Evolution' by John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary.
    > A very good book on culture in animals is 'The Imitation Factor' by
    > Lee Alan Dugatkin
    > (Sam): Thanks for the recommendations. I am working my way through
    > Thomas Kuhn, Robert Aunger, and a Douglas Rushkoff book right now.
    You might also check out: Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems by Paul Cilliers



    both by John H. Holland, as well as another book by Stuart Kaufmann:

    > >I am most interested now in understanding how memes work into self
    > >sustaining non-linear systems. The self-assembly of memes seems to
    > >reflect the behavior of "strange attractors" in CAS theory. The self
    > >replication and non-linear transmission of memes seems to be an
    > >integral part of biological, psychological, and social systems. I
    > >think
    > >CAS and memetics can help us understand why a system may "break down"
    > > and reassemble into separate systems under certain conditions.
    > >This can
    > >often be seen on internet mailing lists that discuss theories dealing
    > > with human social interaction systems in real time, like memetics.
    > >To discuss something like memetics, we may want or need to use
    > >current events in order to test or models, theories and hypothesis.
    > >These discussions are self sustaining until a global event happens
    > >and is brought into the system that causes some degree of dissonance.
    > >Most of the participants in the online discussion group are also
    > >simultaneously
    > >part of larger systems. Global events seem to both generate and
    > >activate memes within individuals. If the paradigms those memes are
    > >tied to are drastically different for individuals who make up a
    > >system,
    > >then the system may break down and reassemble into two or more new
    > >systems, though they may still exist within the same environment (an
    > >internet discussion list, for instance). One theory says that this
    > >"dissonance" is caused by collections of memes, or "meta-memes" that
    > >make up an individual and group complex adaptive system.(that theory
    > >is
    > >spiral dynamics see: It seems there is a
    > >cultural/social view, a psychological view, and a biological/genetic
    > >view into these types of systems. Internet subcultures like
    > >discussion groups and lists seem to be more vulnerable to the break
    > >down of self sustenance than face to face relationships. At the same
    > >time they can be valuable learning tools, and information can be
    > >shared more efficiently, and a broader base can be observed than in
    > >face to face type relationship systems.
    > This seems to be a very accurate description of what happened on this
    > list recently when the topics of Islam and The War on Iraq came up.
    > Certain people on the list have drastically different paradigms
    > relating to these issues and if you over back posting for the last
    > month or so you will see how the list temporarily became dominated by
    > discussion on those issues.
    > While you indicate that such discussion can be useful for memetics, I
    > would argue that they are useful not for their content but solely for
    > their ability to demonstrate the sorts of concepts you have described.
    > I might suggest that for that reason we avoid those topics here but
    > that would we could benefit from examining their impact on other
    > discussion groups.
    > (Sam): I agree. It would be a bad idea to dissect our own discussion.
    > I am more interested in talking about how memetics relates to
    > complexity, and complex adaptive systems, how it relates to media
    > ecology, and how it will relate to Clare W Graves ECLET theory.
    > >Anyway, I am interested in creating dialogue about these things. Any
    > >suggestions, clarifications, corrections, admonishments, brow
    > >beatings,
    > >or compliments are welcome.
    > >
    > >Sam Rose
    > >Founding Member
    > >The Billions of Minds Project
    > >
    > Out of curiosity are you doing this research as grad student, PhD, or
    > a guy with a non related job who just happens to be interested in this
    > stuff. I qualify as the third myself, although I have a graduate
    > degree.
    > (Sam): it s kind of the third, except that I am trying to create a
    > research entity as well with several people from multiple fields
    > curently advising me on the different aspects of ding something like
    > this. Previously, I published a print magzine
    > ( and I currenly also work as a
    > musician (see:
    > Take Care (and thanks for the welcome, Lawrence)
    > Sam
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    > see:

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

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