Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id JAA27326 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 24 Apr 2001 09:59:44 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745DDA@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 09:56:21 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
I think your argument rests on very big ifs- particularly the notion that
they are behind our dominance of the planet (I still think bacteria have a
pretty good case for that status- they've been around longer, can inhabit
large parts of the planet that we can't, and despite our best efforts to
eradicate some of them deliberately we've largely failed).
So, my questions are: What do you mean by dominance, firstly, and then,
secondly, how could/would memes per se allow for that dominance?
Surely memes are related primarily to culture, thus does having complex
cultural capacity has a significantly positive impact on survival? If
culture's impact was really the key factor in dominance, then surely
evolution would have produced complex cultures in all sorts of other
organisms (in the same way that the eye evolved in a wide range of different
organisms because eyes are very useful tools).
> From: Trupeljak Ozren
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 7:43 pm
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
> 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
> 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.
> 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. 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?
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
> 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
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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