Re: Blue tie

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 01 Dec 2003 - 13:48:53 GMT

  • Next message: derek gatherer: "new paper by John Wilkins"

    At 08:22 PM 30/11/03 +0200, you wrote:


    >Could we be losing sight a little bit of what the theory of memetics is for?
    >As I understand it, the theory is useful because it helps us understand
    >cultural transmission of ideas (memes). Getting fiddly about when something
    >exactly becomes a meme isn't that important (IMHO) because it stops helping
    >us understand cultural transmission, which is what it's about in the first
    >place. It's just like we talk about genes 'wanting' to replicate. It's great
    >because it helps us understand natural selection, but only so long as in the
    >back of our minds we remember that genes don't actually want anything. Just
    >as 'want' is the genetics shorthand for 'organisms whose genes meet these
    >qualifications will be more likely to survive and reproduce', the meme is a
    >kind of shorthand to help us understand a semi-abstract concept.
    >Anyway, that's my two cents. If I'm way off base then please correct me.

    No, Danny, you are *exactly* on target.

    Keith Henson

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