From: William Benzon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 22 May 2003 - 01:29:46 GMT
on 5/21/03 8:02 PM, Keith Henson at email@example.com wrote:
> At 11:54 AM 21/05/03 -0400, you wrote:
>> on 5/21/03 9:07 AM, Keith Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>>> Memes are in competition for a limited resource, human brains. This is the
>>> main factor that makes memetics so interesting since memes can induce
>>> behavior that affects how many are carrying them. "Convert or die,
>> This makes no sense. Sooner or later mentalist memetics gets around to
>> talking about memes as though they were living beings flitting about from
>> mind to mind.
> To some very limited extent they are. A virus is just a hunk of DNA or
> RNA. Is it a "living being?" If your cells are being converted to more
> SARS viruses and you need a ventilator just to breath, such nit picking
> questions are far from your concerns.
I'm not talking about viruses, I'm talking about "memes."
> Dawkins' major contribution was to popularize the "selfish gene"
> paradigm. "Unthinking" genes and memes can be modeled as "striving"
> entities because of the Darwinian effect.
What, pray-tell, is the Darwinian effect? Praying to the East whenever
Darwin's name is heard?
>> People say do things like: "Convert or die, infidel!" Arguing
>> that what's really going on is that memes are manipulating people for their
>> own replicating ends is just silly. It was a bad idea when Dawkins advanced
>> it, and it hasn't improved any for all the elaboration and repetition it has
>> received by others.
> It is a clever shorthand that lets you say in a single word like "striving"
> the long winded logic of how evolution works to make some genes (or memes)
> more or less common as time goes forward. It was a good way to put a
> complicated explanation in a few words, but some people have a lot of
> trouble groking it.
It is possible to unpack the notion of a "selfish gene" into identifiable
mechanisms that we can manipulate with some skill. But the notion of the
"selfish meme" just lays their like a run-over dog. It's meaningless.
It seems that your groking is way ahead of your understanding.
-- William L. Benzon 708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A Jersey City, NJ 07302 201 217-1010 "You won't get a wild heroic ride to heaven on pretty little sounds."--George Ives Mind-Culture Coevolution: http://asweknowit.ca/evcult/ =============================================================== 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: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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