Rare original memetics document found

From: AaronLynch@aol.com
Date: Wed 04 Feb 2004 - 00:09:54 GMT

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    In a message dated 2/3/2004 9:03:26 AM Central Standard Time, hkhenson@rogers.com writes:

    Re: groupthink gauntlet: MacArthur's ill-fated drive toward the Yalu
    > At 11:35 AM 03/02/04 +0000, you wrote:
    > > <and,as the inventor of the word "memetics,">
    > >
    > > ... have I missed something? Who's claiming this and on what
    > >grounds? Or am I missing some ironic meaning?
    >
    > Her email was not intended to be posted, and Arel is not reading the list
    > now, but she did coin the word. She gets credit in Hofstadter's
    > _MetaMagical Themas_. I would give you the page number, but my copy is
    > loaned out. Look in the index for "Arel Lucas."
    >
    > Keith Henson

    Hi Keith.

    By coincidence, I have recently made an expanded foray into early transmission of evolutionary cultural replicator theory, and words connected with it. I have uncovered some fascinating events and phenomena, much too much to explain here. I can, however, confirm that, as far as I know, the first published appearance of the word
    "memetics" used as a noun to name a line of study appeared in Hoftstadter's _Metamagical Themas_, page 65. (Basic Books, 1985). To quote: "... Arel Lucas suggested that the discipline that studies memes and their connections to humans and other potential carriers of them be known as _memetics_, by analogy with 'genetics'. I think this is a good suggestion, and hop it will be adopted."

    As it happens, I also have the original letter sent by Arel Lucas to Douglas Hofstadter and eventually forwarded to me by Hofstadter. The letter is dated March 4, 1983, and bears markings by Hofstadter and one or two other people who pre-screened letters to his Scientific American column for him. The name "Hofstadter" in the salutation is elevated a conspicuous 1 mm above neighboring text. The game theoretic significance of this aberration is still being studied.

    Bidding for this unique historical document at Krystee's London will start at 1.5 million, the price of a chair fit for issuance of ex cathedra pronouncements... Until bidding starts, the document will of course remain carefully preserved in a cryogenic case using superfluid Helium-3 as coolant.

    Authentication was conducted by carbon-14 mass spectrometry, which determined that the trees from which the pages were made had lived during the 1970s. During the forensic document analysis, a single strand of DNA was also recovered. The molecule was analyzed using an atomic force resonant microprobe in conjunction with a giant magnetoresistive nuclear resonance microprobe. Specific patterns were found in combinations of carbon-12 and carbon-13 placements in the ribose substructures. Further analysis revealed that the
    *INFORMATION* in the DNA was stored in the carbon isotope sequence of the ribose substructure, which when read out in 5-bit ASCII happened to be identical with the text of the letter upon which the
     DNA was found. The finding reveals a level of technological advancement considered anomalyous for a 20th century document.

    --Aaron Lynch

    Thought Contagion Science Page: http://www.thoughtcontagion.com

    =============================================================== 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) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit



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