and a few I missed yesterday

From: derek gatherer (
Date: Fri 06 Jun 2003 - 08:22:37 GMT

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    Inhibiting Imitative Terrorism through Memetic Engineering
     Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, June 2003, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 61-66(6)
      Pech R.J.
      Abstract: Some acts of terrorism are the consequence of an individual or group's imitation of an act of terrorism, which has previously been publicised through the media. Media reports of terrorism appear to be rising, feeding a potentially increasing number of imitative behaviours. Such reports may provide individuals who are frustrated, angry, suicidal and/or suffering from personality disorders with the means and the motivation to copy what is perceived to be a method of gaining attention or what is perceived to be an acceptable method of venting anger and frustration. Through memetic engineering, the interpretations that are placed upon acts of violence can be manipulated to appear undesirable to even the most unbalanced minds, which it is argued, should inhibit the spread of imitative terrorism.

    From imitation to invention: creating commodities in eighteenth-century Britain
     The Economic History Review, February 2002, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 1-30(30)
      Berg M.

    This article presents the history of new goods in the eighteenth century as a part of the broader history of invention and industrialization. It focuses on product innovation in manufactured commodities as this engages with economic, technological and cultural theories. Recent theories of consumer demand are applied to the invention of commodities in the eighteenth century; special attention is given to the process of imitation in product innovation. The theoretical framework for imitation can be found in evolutionary theories of memetic transmission, in archaeological theories of skeuomorphous, and in eighteenth-century theories of taste and aesthetics. Inventors, projectors, economic policy makers, and commercial and economic writers of the period dwelt upon the invention of new British products. The emulative, imitative context for their invention made British consumer goods the distinctive modern alternatives to earlier Asian and European luxuries.

     Cybernetics and Systems, 1 January 2001, vol. 32, no. 1-2, pp. 225-255(31)
      Blackmore S.[1]
    [1] Department of Psychology, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
      Abstract: The meme is an evolutionary replicator, defined as information copied from person-to-person by imitation. I suggest that taking memes into account may provide a better understanding of human evolution in the following way. Memes appeared in human evolution when our ancestors became capable of imitation. From this time on, two replicators memes and genes coevolved. Successful memes changed the selective environment, favoring genes for the ability to copy them. I have called this process memetic drive. Meme-gene coevolution produced a big brain that is especially good at copying certain kinds of memes. This is an example of the more general process in which a replicator and its replication machinery evolve together. The human brain has been designed not just for the benefit of human genes, but for the replication of memes. It is a selective imitation device. Some problems of definition are discussed and suggestions made for future research.
      The business of memes: memetic possibilities for marketing and management
     Management Decision, 4 May 2000, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 272-279(8)
      Williams R.[1]
    [1] Dundee Graduate School of Management, Scotland
      Abstract: Introduces the business community to the new science of memes. The roots of the meme concept from Richard Dawkins’ original work in the area of biology to the social (business) world are outlined, and the value of its study (memetics) proposed. One claim from memetics is that it can help provide an understanding of the human mind. This claim is explored within the context of advertising and management theory. The conclusion from this project to operationalise the meme concept for a business audience is, however, mixed. Whilst memetics has an intuitive appeal to it, much more is still needed before mankind’s mind may be understood,
    “filled” and manipulated at the discretion of advertisers and management thinkers using a memetic understanding.
      Keywords: Marketing; Advertising; Theory; Psychology
      Cultural Diversity in People's Understanding and Uses of Time
     Applied Psychology An International Review, July 2003, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 363-382(20)
      Brislin R.W.; Kim E.S.[1]
    [1] University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii
      The global economy and international business ventures have brought many occasions for the development of interpersonal relationships among people who were socialised into different cultures. People's use of time, according to Hall, is a “silent language” that affects their everyday behaviors. The authors identify ten concepts that summarise how culture affects intercultural interactions that are part of international business dealings: 1. Clock and event time: Do people follow set schedules or let the event take its natural course before moving to another event? 2. Punctuality: How sensitive are people to deviations from appointed times? 3. The relation between task and social time during the workday; 4. Whether people do one activity at a time or do many at once; 5. Efficiency vs. effectiveness; 6. Fast and slow paces of life; 7. How people deal with long periods of silence; 8. People's time orientation: past, present and the future; 9. The symbolic meaning of time; 10. Cultural differences in importance of work and leisure time. The authors also provide insights based on these ten concepts for business people who travel extensively to other cultures and who accept long-term assignments in other countries.

    The ghosts in the meme machine
     History of the Human Sciences, May 2002, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 55-68(14)
      Jahoda G.[1]
    [1] University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

    The notion of 'memes' as replicators similar to genes, but concerned with cultural units, was put forward by Dawkins (1976). Blackmore (1999) used this notion to elaborate an ambitious theory designed to account for numerous aspects of human evolution and psychology. Her theory is based on the human capacity for imitation, and although the operation of the 'memes' is said to be purely mechanical, the figurative language used implies that their 'actions' are purposive. This article will show that imitation had been regarded as important for human advance well before Darwinism. Moreover, at the end of the 19th century descriptions of the functioning of imitation in society had been put forward that closely parallel those given by Blackmore. Hence it is argued that what is convincing about her thesis is not new, and what is new is speculative and highly questionable.

    Probability misjudgment, cognitive ability, and belief in the paranormal
     British Journal of Psychology, 1 May 2002, vol. 93, no. 2, pp. 169-177(9)
      Musch J. [1]; Ehrenberg K. [1]
    [1] University of Bonn, Germany
      Abstract: According to the probability misjudgment account of paranormal belief (Blackmore & Troscianko, 1985), believers in the paranormal tend to wrongly attribute remarkable coincidences to paranormal causes rather than chance. Previous studies have shown that belief in the paranormal is indeed positively related to error rates in probabilistic reasoning. General cognitive ability could account for a relationship between these two variables without assuming a causal role of probabilistic reasoning in the forming of paranormal beliefs, however. To test this alternative explanation, a belief in the paranormal scale (BPS) and a battery of probabilistic reasoning tasks were administered to 123 university students. Confirming previous findings, a significant correlation between BPS scores and error rates in probabilistic reasoning was observed. This relationship disappeared, however, when cognitive ability as measured by final examination grades was controlled for. Lower cognitive ability correlated substantially with belief in the paranormal. This finding suggests that differences in general cognitive performance rather than specific probabilistic reasoning skills provide the basis for paranormal beliefs.

    Consciousness in Meme Machines
     Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2003, vol. 10, no. 4-5, pp. 19-30(12)
      Blackmore S.
      Abstract: Setting aside the problems of recognising consciousness in a machine, this article considers what would be needed for a machine to have human-like consciousness. Human-like consciousness is an illusion; that is, it exists but is not what it appears to be. The illusion that we are a conscious self having a stream of experiences is constructed when memes compete for replication by human hosts. Some memes survive by being promoted as personal beliefs, desires, opinions and possessions, leading to the formation of a memeplex (or selfplex). Any machine capable of imitation would acquire this type of illusion and think it was conscious. Robots that imitated humans would acquire an illusion of self and consciousness just as we do. Robots that imitated each other would develop their own separate languages, cultures and illusions of self. Distributed selfplexes in large networks of machines are also possible. Unanswered questions include what remains of consciousness without memes, and whether artificial meme machines can ever transcend the illusion of self consciousness.

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