Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 23:21:36 BST

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics"

    Received: by id XAA23132 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 23:25:24 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 18:21:36 -0400
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 Apr 2001 22:21:36.0540 (UTC) FILETIME=[98253DC0:01C0CB7A]
    Precedence: bulk

    >From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    >Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    >Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 11:43:56 -0700 (PDT)
    >If we start with the assumption that memes have been with us for some
    >time; that they follow the principles of evolutionary selection; that
    >they are the reason behind our physical dominance on this planet;
    >it would follow that releasing the knowledge about the specific
    >mechanisms of their existence (knowledge of meme-engineering) could
    >only lead to a greater diversity; and thus stronger, more robust
    >"meme-system" (eco-system of the memes) for the whole of their "living
    Humans are physically dominant on this planet? Tell that to the insects and
    other arthropods. For every arrogant human wearing anhtropocentric lenses
    there are those crafty little microbes waiting in the shadows looking for an
    opportune time to pounce. Simplicity reigns.
    >Why do I believe that they (memes) are the reason behind our dominance?
    >By definition, all transmited knowledge exhibits memetic behavior; and
    >our physical dominance is the result of our knowledge of theory and
    >application for laws of nature. The ideas standing behind the rise of
    >scientific thought could very easily be perceived as being memes.
    So "memes" have pushed us up the great ladder?
    >Why would the release of knowledge of "meme-engineering" lead to
    >greater diversity of existant memes? Well, from the simple fact that
    >you would have many more nodes of replication that would mutate memes
    >on purpose, not just by accident or "flashes of inspiration", and with
    >far more knowledge of what the results might be.
    >Why would this greater diversity of memes bring any good to us,
    >humanity? Well, here I can only go by analogy with biology, in which
    >the most complex systems exhibit surprising capabilities of survival
    >and adaptation.
    Ever hear of antibiotic resistance? The simpleton microbes are putting up a
    good fight.
    >In a way, by being exposed to more, and better crafted,
    >memes, we can raise the immunity to truly virulent ones just by
    >constant exposure. Fanaticism of any kind might become a rather small
    >and isolated phenomenon, unlike today...that might be good. :)
    >again, I might be discovering warm water. But I was provoked by the
    >discussion on ethics of releasing the knowledge of how the human mind
    >is manipulated to the general public. If we extoll the principles of
    >evoultion to be the elegant truth behind our existence, why should we
    >not accept them as our ethical system, too?
    Hume's "is versus ought" distinction or Moore's naturalistic fallacy

    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 22 2001 - 23:28:41 BST