Re: What happened to the journal of memetics?
From: Agner Fog (email@example.com)
Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: What happened to the journal of memetics?"
Date: Sat 19 Feb 2005 - 18:36:04 GMT
Keith Henson wrote:
>I have no idea of why.
You mean no idea why the journal disappeared, or no idea why I don't want
theories to be limited to discrete information units?
>If you use "information" in the technical sense, then it is discrete
units measured in bits.
You might with the same argument publish articles about anything in a
chemistry journal because anything consists of molecules :-)
Journal of memetics is limited to theories of automatic selection of
information units. Memetics, like other evolutionary theories, is a theory
of things happening as controlled by an "invisible hand" rather than
consciously planned. But "invisible hand" effects can be caused by other
types of selection than selection of information units. Adam Smith
invented the term "invisible hand" to describe the free market forces of
economics. This is selection of quantitative variables (money) rather than
qualitative items (memes).
Example: Big companies tend to grow still bigger because their size give
them a number of competitive advantages known as "economy of scale". No
social planner decided that Coca Cola or Microsoft should be big
multinational companies. It just happened because of the market logic.
This is automatic selection, but not of discrete information units.
Democratic election is another example. One party may grow and another
party shrink because of whatever selection criteria voters apply. This is
selection of a quantitative variable (number of votes), and only
secondarily a qualitative information unit (political ideology).
I have more examples in my book "cultural selection". My point is that
memetics is an "invisible hand" theory of social and cultural development.
There are other similar theories which can explain unplanned developments
just as well as memetics can. What these theories have in common is
selection, not information units. This is the reason why I would like to
see a joural with a broader focus. This would include such scientific
traditions as cultural selection theory, evolutionary epistemology,
evolutionary economics and public choice, as well as memetics. A
cross-fertilization between these sciences would be very fruitful.
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)
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: Sat 19 Feb 2005 - 18:53:21 GMT