RE: birthdays

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun 15 Jun 2003 - 20:30:29 GMT

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    At 11:12 AM 15/06/03 -0700, Richard wrote:


    >"Meme" was proposed by Dawkins as a name for a cultural replicator analogous
    >to the gene, and later refined by him and Dennett to be a mental replicator.
    >As I pointed out in my 1995 book, meme is not the only cultural replicator
    >nor THE unit of cultural evolution. Artifacts and subcultures can also
    >fruitfully be looked on as replicators.

    I would like to suggest you consider a simplification consistent with Darkins and Dennett, namely memes as pure information, independent of media.

    So the meme of chipped arrowheads would amount to the information about how to make and use them. Taking only the making part, the information could exist in a human mind, on paper (though for sure it would be tough to successfully describe how to chip rocks in text alone), in a video of someone chipping out an arrowhead, or to some extent in the object of an arrowhead itself if a person who knew rock chipping but not arrowheads could duplicate one from a sample.

    A subculture is just a collection of memes. The fact that a whole bunch of them are bound up in a mutually supporting package is not unlike Dawkins pointing out that genes are bound together in much the same way in a genome.

    Keith Henson

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