Re: sidents

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 14:12:49 BST

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    From: Chris Taylor <>
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    > How do we fit memes in here...well...possibly how trends of introducing
    > non-native species into a region can impact that region. If I'm not mistaken
    > Brazilian pepper trees are a shining example and we in Florida are now
    > paying the price. The meme shift has recently been towards eradicating these
    > nuisance plants when possible.

    And as an analogy, consider the invasion of secular memes into the mind
    of a once religious person whose faith was 'shaken' by something - here
    our resident can no longer cope with environmental change, and is
    displaced by an invader who is better adapted (explains the world more
    satisfactorily). This is a little like the poleward movement of
    ecosystems as global warming progresses.

    Btw thanks for the ref. Kenneth.

    > Cane Toads in Australia?
    > American crayfish in the UK?
    > Surely both good examples of introduced species exploiting advantages
    > against residents to the point of wiping out hte naitve residents, in both
    > cases I believe it's generally due to size, making them able to take
    > resident's territory by force.
    > The Dingo wiping out thylacines is another one.

    Yeah - invasion and displacement is frequent, because as you've said
    invaders come free of parasite load etc. and so get a few 'free'
    generations where their realised fitness is high. In response (though
    not in criticism, because you're right) I would restate that (1) many
    'invasions' fail (although that's tricky to measure); (2) the resident
    thing is really more about intraspecific competition, where (more or
    less) like competes with like; and (3) this will always be a more minor
    effect than 'better' outcompeting 'worse'.

    This is my resident memeplex (need I finish this sentence?) Ho ho. But
    seriously, thinking purely memetically now, it is often hard to get
    people to change their minds, because what they already think has an
    advantage, which we must explain. Possible reasons: (1) they trust
    themselves more than others (for whatever reason) and so 'take their own
    advice' (stamp of approval increases the resident meme's fitness); (2)
    the change would have many consequences (theism/atheism for example) and
    so is avoided (many other memes lose fitness in the context of the new
    meme); (3) lacking a full picture, the resident seems fitter than the
    profferred alternative; (4) change in and of itself is seen as a bad
    thing (last time 'things' changed X happened)(see 2). Any more?

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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