Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Trupeljak Ozren (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 00:49:31 BST

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    Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 16:49:31 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
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    --- Scott Chase <> wrote:
    > >From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    > >Reply-To:
    > >To:
    > >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;
    > >THEN
    > >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
    > >space".
    > >
    > 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.

    They are still unable to unleash enough energy to move our planet out
    of the orbit, which we are (I would argue that one can measure
    dominance over the physical world in simple terms of exactly how much
    energy can you unleash); the other point being that neither microbes
    nor insects have yet been able to stop us from doing anything that we
    as a species wanted to do. They still exist as a possible threat to our
    dominance, yes.

    > >
    > >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?

    Well, I haven't said that, but you might consider that idea, too. I was
    talking that ideas behind scientific method showed meme-like behavior.

    > >
    > >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.

    Exactly. We are showering them with huge quantities of toxic
    substances, and are accelerating their evolution (in the sphere of
    immunity to antibiotics) very very much. But at the same time; it seems
    as if we are still one step ahead of them, and will be as long as our
    computational capabilities exceed the requirements needed to find new
    versions of antibiotics. Without the complexity of todays computers, we
    would be in big trouble very fast. :)

    > >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
    > perhaps?

    I am not knowledgable of these; can you elaborate?

    There are very few man - and they are exceptions - who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment.

    Carl von Clausewitz

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