From: Jerry Bryson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 29 Jan 2006 - 21:00:58 GMT
On Jan 28, 2006, at 10:53 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
> At 08:16 PM 1/28/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>>>> This, and the Grayfrier's Bobby seem to be vehicles to convey memes?
>>> Apparently so - I found this while I was googling earlier:
>> So, myths certainly carry memes; as do teaching stories. Now. I
>> wonder if there is a difference between myths and recently created
>> stories in the memes they convey.
> You are looking at this from the wrong end. Memes and teaching
> stories *are* memes. Intercommunicating human minds are the
> environment for memes.
So, what shall we call the little ideas that have been delivered by the memes and are now rattling around in our heads? i.e. the payloads of our memes?
> That environment changes and so do the memes that thrive or die out in
> it. For example, a meme about a boy plugging a hole in a dike could
> not exist before there *were* dikes. (I make the case that xenophobic
> memes do well in stressed populations during the run-up to wars.)
And the "inclusive fitness" idea was there before the dike or the
story, right? Is Inclusive fitness a meme?
> But the basic meme-theme of inclusive fitness oriented actions is one
> that drives the propagation of this class of memes. I make the case
> that such stories activate our own emotional drivers that would be
> activated if we were in the (usually awful) spot of the
Then we have the story teller, who creates the story and/or selects it
to pass on. What is it in the mind of the creator that exists before
before the story/meme?
> Pascal Boyer says similar things about religious memes. In _Religion
> Explained_ he provides list of "beliefs" that we can sort into those
> that make plausible religious beliefs and those that do not. He does
> not explain exactly *how* people can make such decisions, but we
> obviously can.
I figure we judge a candidate idea by how well it gets along with whatever is in our heads.
> He also makes the point that the kind of meme that becomes a dominate
> religious belief depends on the level of the society. State level
> societies have religions that are different in kind from the ones of
> more primitive people.
> I should reread his book with a deeper understanding of evolutionary
> Incidentally, Robert Wright, author of _Moral Animal_, an early
> popular book on EP, says that popular authors have a better gut feel
> for EP than any psychologist prior to the mid 1990s. That's because
> they are turning on deep seated EP rooted emotions. Consider The
> Fellowship of the Ring as an example.
Probably most true of the fantasy and horror genres, in general.
> Keith Henson
> 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
"In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they're
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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