Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 20:38:56 BST

  • Next message: "Re: Information"

    Received: by id UAA12013 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 29 Apr 2001 20:04:24 +0100
    Message-ID: <000901c0d0e4$229fe900$fe0abed4@default>
    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    To: <>
    References: <>
    Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 21:38:56 +0200
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2314.1300
    X-MIMEOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2314.1300
    Precedence: bulk

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2001 8:54 PM
    Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Hi Trupeljak,

    I wrote,
    > > << Yes, but the only possible profit we have from war, stupidity and
    > > vulgarity is the knowledge we assembled about these subjects.
    > > By themselves they are useless. They are just memes- propagating- ma-
    > > chines. But very strong ones, indeed !!
    You said,
    > So how is knowledge about war, stupidity, gullibility etc. useless? I
    > would argue that it is of central importance to the issues of trying to
    > prevent these events from happening in the future! Europe learned
    > something from it's wars in the way that many African states did not...
    > I don't think that knowledge of war (or stupidity) is going to make
    > anyone to commit them, actually, it seems to me that the reaction would
    > be quite the opposite.

    << Of course it is the opposite, I suppose you did misunderstood me.
    No harm done, by the way.
    I just wanted to say that the knowledge is ok, but the subject where we
    attract that knowledge from is not !
    War in itself is useless, fighting it just for the sake to gather knowledge,
    would be stupid.

    > Exactly. :) Sounds bright and optimistic to me!
    > To explain a little, I don't believe that there is any necesarry "end
    > state" for evolution or life in general (unless you count death as one
    > ;), and do not subscribe to beliefs that there *is* a purpose or
    > meaning in life beyond the life itself. Rather common belief amongst
    > the atheists, I believe...;)

    << Ok ! I go along with this and I agree on the fact that nature gives
    and creates life without knowing, but most human don 't see life without
    a beginning, a purpose and an end.
    If you should take that away, their worldview would crumble.
    What says a lot about these people as an individual and a lot more about
    how those beliefstructures are built.

    > I agree with you on that one. When I said that it is a very general
    > statement, I meant that if you propose evolutionary ethics (something
    > that at least one philosopher of today has already done in an elegant
    > manner (R.Pirsig in Lila)) you should elaborate more on what
    > constitutes it, at least in general terms...

    << I work from the memetical fundamental bias where upon everybody
    stands and where everybody is equal.
    We are all equal in/ by our differences !!
    Pirsig and Lila, well what a surprise.
    Do you know there is a discussion list !?
    If not, go to...
    MOQ Archive
    To subscribe follow the instructions on

    > IMHO, memetic side of the coin is the same as the belief side; there is
    > a strong recursive realtionship between the two. One of my first
    > thoughts on the subject of memes is that they were adapted as the main
    > tool of our (human) evolution because they influenced our perception so
    > much (which is of vital importance in the game of survival), as much as
    > genes do, but are able to mutate, change and adapt much more quickly
    > then genes do. And religious or cultural perception filters are very
    > much meme influenced.

    << Here I have to disagree, not sure either if this will be clear enough...
    Believing in something is the result of a process consisting out of
    ( willingly or not), experience, deduction and finally admitting that the
    thing you did your search into is right or wrong.

    The memetical side of the coin is the bias where upon the search can
    begin(s). You start of with some perceptions which are already colored by
    environmental/ social/ cultural/ political and psychological distinctions.
    That is the memetic fundamental bias, but it is not the ' belief- side '.
    I will admit it is a " bias for belief ", where from you can start to
    the pro's and the cons.
    You end up believing in something ( or not) when the pro's and cons
    coincide with some aspects of your memetic fundamental bias.
    The former and the latter keep eachother in a balance, the latter "prooves"
    in a way what is inclosed in the former. When this is happened, you belief.

    IMO, religion is the only cultural, social and political distinction where
    you can escpae from and that due to memetic filters_ the latter don 't
    proove or find any to ' proove ' what is inclosed in the former.
    Believing in the religious way is the only aspect of our life which can be
    counterbalanced by memetic filters and that due to the fact that IMO,
    religion has no genetic bias.

    > > I saw it and the problem that you perceive seems to me to be the old
    > one.

    << Old or not, it is still working like hell and it gives us problems!!

    > But today, I would argue that spread of mass media (and the length of
    > our formal education, but of this, later..)is producing such an
    > information overload that in order to protect ourselves, we shut down
    > all, or most, of the high order fucntions of the mind whenever we are
    > presented with any of the mass media vectors. The only ones (memes?)
    > which seem to be able to penetrate this "shield" are either those who
    > engage our "lizard" brain in some way, or those which are subtle enough
    > not to raise our shields in the first place (anything related to humor,
    > for example..)

    << Than in a sense, most of us, if I look around me, are shutting them-
    selves down to protect themselves as you suggets !?
    I don 't know, but this seems not quit to fit with what I have and do expe-
    rience(d) in my daily life.
    I don 't see any indication that people in general are shutting themselves
    down whenever they are presented with any of the media vectors.
    IMO, they were never " open " for those vectors and the media for
    some odd reason followed these detachment tru' and created programs
    according to the people's taste.
    And this IMO says a lot about the state of mind of those people and
    thus a lot about which memes get propagated faster and better.
    But I don 't know, still, what makes those more attractive for the ones
    and not for others.

    > What equality principle? Is it part of evolutionary ethics? Is it a
    > necesary part of evolutionary ethics? Seems obvious to me that we are
    > *not* all equal, although it would be a desired state to move to,
    > yes...(my ethics are a bit old fashioned in that respect, too..)

    << We are not equal I know, but only in the genetical and memetical
    way of things but I mean with equality here the legal side of the matter.
    And of course this is highly discussable.
    But according to those laws, we have equal rights; we must be equally
    treated. But I think it is not a part of evolutionary ethics, just because
    of its determined " equality- principle ". We are in many ways not equal,
    so, defining morality terms on this kind of bias, are always denying the
    individual his or her rights to be and act as he or she is born and/ or
    is denying any fact derived from that point of view. Behavioral traits
    derived from just a point of view must be taken without prejudice.

    > And since it is information that does not need machine to work, it is
    > even cheaper to get then computers are. Again, I am all for
    > evolutionary ethics here: whoever can perceive the usefulness of the
    > concept, and master the applications, should get his due reward. Lazy
    > ass who likes to play footbal and reads with difficulty should rightly
    > stay in the place of dumb consumer of today.
    > (oh my, am I not politicaly correct! :)

    << No, no need to apologize ! From what I said above you can draw
    the same conclusion. But, if you take evolutionary ethics for granted, you
    should find a legal and ethical system wherein a lazy ass should be given
    ' rights ' to stay in the place of dumb consumer of today.
    But on the other hand, and that is just the problem, you should warn those
    people that sitting on their ass is their choise and so that the society
    will not pay for the TV, neither for the popcorn and the beer.
    And there you have in a nutshell the problems I am so interested in,
    if this means that people can 't really escape from their genetic, meme-
    tical than evolutionary pre- distinctions you will have to adjust your
    ethical system.
    And for the sake of murderers, killers and abusers of any kind you
    have to find " solutions ", like Holodeck- technology could be one.

    > Ok, that clarifies it a lot. Makes sense to me. Although, I wonder,
    > could you have a stabile social system that doesn't have any ethical
    > system? If not, then you have no choice, you have to have one, and
    > problems present only in choosing which one should be used.

    << Of course, my view too !! But like I explained above, you have
    to adjust your legal and ethical system, and problems present them-
    selves if you deny " some " (f)actors which in essence are part of the
    self who makes " you " !!
    People can 't express who they " really " are, there are always oppo-
    sitions of any kind_ and workd frustration and stress in hand.



    ( I am, because we are) no exception

    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 29 2001 - 20:07:50 BST