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> Smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, masochism, pedo and related philias
> an abstinent priesthood, homosexuality, gluttony.....
> I think for memes like these ones it can be more complicated than that.
That remains to be seen Ray. I agree, memes spreading and promoting drug-use
and other addictive behaviors generally have a decreasing effect on
biological fitness. However, not automatically so for cultural fitness.
When not abused, drugs have a firm social function. Engaging in drug-use
helps to promote social bonding of the drug-using group, or at least
that's often how drug-use is interpreted by potential users. For example,
sentences like `Come-on dude take a hit of this stuff....' are freely
uttered at social gatherings of adolescents. Therefore, memes spreading
drug-use are actually perceived of having a fitness increasing quality,
of a social kind this time.
Also prior to the fifties or so, it wasn't really known that smoking tobacco
was actually unhealthy. All-the-more then smoking had a truly social function,
you might think you were not part of `it' if you didn't smoke. Smoking was
cool, and if you didn't smoke, you weren't. I guess this made a lot of people
starting to smoke. People did so because they believed that it actually
increased their social fitness.
> I think Some of the memes use parasitic transmission which I define as
> transmission from others who don't follow those memes themselves but who
> benefit from their transmission to others. ie. smoking by tobacco
> companies. Some though like pedophilia are are transmitted horizontally
The reward of pedophilia is pleasure, albeit a sick one. Therefore memes
spreading pedophilia have a culturally fitness increasing function. I am
wondering though, to what extent the phenomenon of pedophilia is memetic;
might there not also be a genetic component present?
> (from parent to child)
I thought that was `vertical'...
> and may not enhance genetic fitness but don't
> reproduction sufficiently to prevent further transmission. Others are
> transmitted laterally (in between non-related individuals).
> Hypothetically, given sufficient time, genetics will catch up and create
> genetic impediments to the transmission of the memes. So for example
> a few thousand years perhaps humans will develop some genetic controls
> their sense of hunger that will prevent them becoming overweight. That
> becomes less likely though for things like smoking where the most of the
> negative affects don't appear until child rearing years are over.
Genes and memes are coupled together, forming the gene-meme co-evolution.
Ultimately, couch potatoes may get genetically selected...
> There is a lot more to say here about how different rates of evolution
> likely always mean that parasitic memes can evolve but I've given you
> enough to chew on already.
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