From: Wade T. Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 19 Jun 2003 - 19:28:32 GMT
On Thursday, June 19, 2003, at 01:47 PM, Richard wrote in response to
>> how fundamental to an understanding of human behavior can memetics be?
> Assuming you mean "understanding of culture" -- because "human
> behavior" has a lot to do with genetic evolution as well -- I suppose
> [the model of memetics that posits a replicating meme at 100% fidelity
> from mind to mind] as fundamental as the identical copying of genes is
> to genetics.
Ah, but the identical copying of genes in genetics has very little to
do with evolution, or should I say, the understanding of different
species of life and how they came to be, since this all seems to be
lost to the 100% replication fraternity. Whether it has much to do with
behavior is also problematic, although, yeah, at some level, things
need to be copied with some fidelity in order to survive in the fitness
landscape they are evolving in as individual organisms.
Each Ford Escort needs to have a huge collection of parts, all of which
meet precisely defined tolerances in order for the factory to make Ford
Escorts. Each human being needs to have a huge collection of parts, all
of which meet precisely defined tolerances in order for two humans to
manufacture another human being. But, these parts are a matter of birth
in the human, which is where genetics matters, and where copying with
high fidelity is so important, but the manufacturing of human beings
capable of interacting socially is the job of culture, not the mere job
of genetics, and culture itself is a matter of _tolerances_, not a
matter of exactitude. Many parts fit into many different places in
culture. French fits into the language part, and so does English.
Crepes fit into the breakfast part, and so do donuts. Peugeots fit into
the transportation part, and so do Fords, even Ford Escorts, which are
sold in France....
So, QED, there is no fundamental need for the 100% fidelity meme, in
the brain, or anywhere else, for the understanding of culture or
cultural change, except as how the individual agents of the culture
survive physically and reproduce more agents.
Therefore, the meme in the mind model which you and others postulate
that demands a meme of definitional 100% replicative fidelity is a
bogus model of cultural evolution. It may be a good model of something
else, but I'll leave that to you to discover. Right now, it's not
working where you say it should. Its parts don't fit.
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)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 19 Jun 2003 - 19:37:15 GMT