RE: meme as catalytic indexical

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Sat 24 Jan 2004 - 18:15:42 GMT

  • Next message: derek gatherer: "Re: meme as catalytic indexical"

    M Lissack wrote:

    > You can assert that communication happens but
    > what in the world is an in mind mechanism? In the absence of
    > mechanism how do you distinguish between the meme as
    > replicator and meme as a sign of something else which
    > replicates? If you have no means of making that distinction
    > then the assertion that meme is a replicator is just that
    > naked assertion -- untestable and merely tautological.
    > Bruce's challenges are about how memetics can progress from
    > being regarded as tautology.

    The meme is defined as a replicator, so asking for evidence that this is the case is nonsensical.

    Memetics is falsely regarded as a tautology by the same line of thinking that falsely regards any Darwinian mechanism as tautology. The argument usually goes "Darwinism is survival of the fittest and the fittest are defined as those who survive." This seeming paradox is resolved by adding the dimension of time. Darwinian evolution looks at how the future is influenced by the varying success of present-day replicators.

    One example of a memetic prediction would be that evangelistic religions will continue to spread more rapidly than those that don't evangelize and reach a higher saturation point.

    Richard Brodie

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