From: Chris Taylor (Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk)
Date: Thu 29 May 2003 - 15:15:10 GMT
I think this gets near the point I was lunging at: I think the
fitness-improving meme is to look favourably on the educated. In the
days of olde, you were a witch; no-one benefitted from whatever
knowledge you might have gleaned through your alchemy/serendipity (and
I'd assume it takes a long time for a meme to become 'folk knowledge').
However having stopped resisting knowledge and the change that it
brings, we now die of typhus and cholera a lot less etc.. So to avoid
group arguments we'd have to say that the meme that increases your
fitness (by helping to shape the memetic and physical environment) is to
think of knowledge, and knowledgeable folks, as of benefit.
I'd definitely sign up to the spandrel thing too Richard (although I
don't like that SJG terminology really). This will be true for ever -
make a thing and something will exploit it in a way for which it was not
'intended' (licensed evolbiol shorthand). Hopefully though, as with many
'diseases', the 'parasitic' memes will evolve to be less harmful to the host over time (which is why zoonosis are always so vicious - new to you) to keep up the host numbers. Taken to it's logical extreme, parasites that merely use the host as a host (rather than as a method of locomotion or distribution of spores etc.) should always evolve towards commensalism and maybe even a nice positive mutualism. I wonder if we could find an ancestral-form lichen where the division of costs/spoils was less than even?
Reed Konsler wrote:
> The pursuit of happiness is, in most cases, probably counter productive from
> a genetic standpoint. The only kinds of pleasure that directly serve
> genetic interests are those derived from sex, childbirth, and childcare. If
> you have experience with these, you will agree that each is also fraught
> with much frustration and suffering. What one focuses on will vary.
> Pursuit of any other goal, save as a means to the ends above, is a genetic
> dead end.
> I state this perception only to point out that one shouldn't get too hung
> up, personally, on the idea of individual genetic fitness (i.e. is education
> a good or bad thing). It would certainly make an interesting research
> project, but the ultimate conclusion, I believe, would be that just about
> everything we enjoy isn't serving a direct genetic interest.
> That is probably an indication of just how dependent we have become on
> memes. It's unlikely that one could become "disinfected" and, if so, what
> would be the result? Returning to the Garden isn't something that seems
> very desirable to me.
> 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
-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://pedro.man.ac.uk/ »people»chris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =============================================================== 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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