From: Keo Ormsby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 02 Dec 2004 - 16:34:13 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Henson" <email@example.com>
> At 11:56 AM 01/12/04 +0000, you wrote:
> >Dear memetics discussants,
> >Please can I remind you that this list is for the discussion
> >relating to memes and memetics. Where this degenerates into
> >about politics (USA, Cuba, Israel, Animal rights etc.) this
> >carried on OFF this list (i.e. privately or via another
> >Individuals who ignore this will eventually (after warnings,
> >be ejected form the list. If there is a widespread
irrelevance the list
> >will be closed. You have been warned.
> >As they say: we thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
> Have I been missing a lot of postings? The previous post was
> weeks ago.
> As for the above topics, I do think people should be more
> tying such topics back into memetics and evolutionary
psychology. EP seems
> to me to be the lower strata that memetics rests on.
> Why for example do animal rights memes spread in populations?
> obviously don't spread in *all* populations and didn't at all
> historical times so what are the differences? And how does the
> differential spread of animal rights memes relate to the
> evolved human brains? It is almost certainly a side effect of
> else since animal rights memes would be rather counter survival
> gatherers, but a side effect of what?
> I have some ideas along this line. Anyone else?
> Keith Henson
> PS. Politics is even more related. If the psychological
> memes inside the US and Iraq were understood at least we might
be able to
> suggest something useful.
Perhaps we could analyze the memetic relevance of this whole
situation. The list is a meme space where competition and
selection is taking place, and the more successful memes get
replicated and thrive in threads. Now this particular list has
the following selective pressures: All of the replicating agents
(us) have an interest in memetics, so memes in posts with memetic topics will have a better chance of generating a thread; and also there is an imposed constraint that the posts should talk about memetics, if not the replicating agent is eliminated. This sort of guarantees that memetics stays as the main topic of posts. However we, the replicating agents, are also interested in many other subjects in common, such as politics. So when another topic pops up, there is a certain chance that it can catch on, which happens sometimes.
So in my view, what we are seeing here is a case of memetic
engineering vs. memetic evolution. On the one hand, the list is
trying to evolve by incorporating successful memes, whatever
their topic, and on the other we (acting now as engineers, and
not as replicating agents) are trying to keep it on a certain
course lest it loose its purpose, namely to discuss memetics.
I will not get into if Bruce Edmonds' comments were warranted or
not in this particular instance, but we should all be aware that
letting evolution do its stuff yields fascinating and marvelous
new organisms (or memeplexes), but that the result is utterly
unpredictable. If we have a certain purpose for our creation, it
will be inevitable that once in a while we will have to roll up
our sleeves and mess consciously with the course that it is
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