Re: Rare original memetics document found

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 04 Feb 2004 - 03:19:34 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Rare original memetics document found"

    At 07:09 PM 03/02/04 -0500, Aaron wrote:
    >In a message dated 2/3/2004 9:03:26 AM Central Standard
    >Time, 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Bidding for this unique historical document at Krystee's London will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:

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