RE: Memetic vulnerability: was: Faking It

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 11:45:10 BST

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    Subject: RE: Memetic vulnerability: was: Faking It
    Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:45:10 +0100
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    I'm not sure I agree with this Kenneth,

    If we look at nature, surely we see patterns of species in lots of different
    environments developing the same responses, to highly consistent
    environmental features, e.g. lots of species have eyes (of varying kinds).
    [is that what they call convergent evolution?] Surely memes must work
    within the limited (perhaps not as limited as the physical world for natural
    selection) environment of human society? Hence we see in early religions
    around the world, and at lots of different periods in history including in
    isolated places still today, common elements of religious beliefs (e.g.
    worship of elements, and key environmental features as gods, such as water,
    the sun, the moon, the wind, etc. etc., animal worship etc. etc.). The
    specifics may be different, but the generalities are similar enough to see
    convergent evolution of memes (if I'm using the term convergent evolution

    For new memes to thrive, they can either exploit new niches (e.g. internet
    jargon, or newer still, text messaging jargon), or they can simply be more
    adaptive than previously dominant memes. Like cats and dogs being
    introduced into Australia and New Zealand, European and American (corporate)
    imperialism thrust new memes into different environments, and seem to catch
    all the "flightless" memes wiping them out. Somebody mentioned the
    popularity of American names in Denmark, for example. American names aren't
    entirely unique and different from Danish names- they're all names, but the
    environmental cues may be favouring US names at this time.


    > ----------
    > From: Kenneth Van Oost
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2001 10:08 am
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Memetic vulnerability: was: Faking It
    > Hi Lawrence,
    > You wrote,
    > > I don't think memes are so robust as to be 'unbeatable' once launched.
    > The earlier meme cannot be designed with all its potential future
    > competitors in mind, but a new competing meme can be designed to counter
    > an
    > earlier meme using linguistic tactics that target the earlier memes
    > specific
    > characteristics
    > > and weaknesses. The later meme can thus more requisite variety than the
    > > earlier one. True the earlier meme has the advantage of being ensconced
    > > (Chris's term: resident), but the new meme is not without significant
    > > responsive advantage.
    > << This works IMO not in the real sense of the word, but as in a thought-
    > experiment it would !!
    > Once a meme is set, all possible and all probable future competitors are
    > locked up in the main stream ( or niche if you prefer) which the meme
    > will occupy or already does occupy.
    > Remerber, IMO in a way, the " form " under which a meme is set includes
    > all of its possible and all of its probable consequences.
    > Each meme is in a sense " de novo " because she will occupy each time
    > a new niche never occupied by others before.
    > That is, each time there is a thought about the weather wherever in the
    > world, each time that counts for a new meme. And that thought will have
    > its own niches to live and die by.
    > No meme is ever the same !!
    > And therefor, each meme is in a way " designed " with all its potential,
    > possible and probable competitiors. Not in the real sense of the word,
    > ' in mind ', but nevertheless...
    > Best regards,
    > Kenneth
    > ( I am, because we are) occupied
    > ===============================================================
    > 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:

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    =============================================================== 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:

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