Re: Mutant swarms and copying fidelity

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Thu 05 May 2005 - 08:25:01 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: reading a book"

    >Well, lack of precision does not preclude comparison, it just makes it
    >coarse grained. For example, take this quote from Chaucer:
    > I warne yow wel, it is no childes pley.
    >Eight memes (lexemes), counting 'childes pley' as one, six mutations
    >(including short to long 'i' in 'childes') in over more than 600 years.
    >Millions of replications, at least. That's gotta be slower than the flu, no?

    600 years is a mere 20 human generations. 20 flu generations is probably less than 60 days. How much does a flu virus mutate in 60 days? In any case, to what extent are orthographical changes cultural mutations? Does that not assume that culture is somehow coded in language? Couldn't it be coded in something else (eg a mentalese?) or not coded at all?

    =============================================================== 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:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 05 May 2005 - 08:40:37 GMT