"Smoking" Memes

From: salice (salice@gmx.net)
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 21:45:36 GMT

  • Next message: Dr Kevin Reiling: "Re: "Smoking" Memes"

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    From: "salice" <salice@gmx.net>
    To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 21:45:36 +0000
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    Subject: "Smoking" Memes
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    Well i read this example about 'bad' memes according to
    natural/genetic fitness of the person who smokes and so on.

    I also agree that smoking is mostly an action which people turn
    into because of social concerns. I want to look at it a bit further

    People react to smoking in different ways. Some are more likely to get
    cancer from smoking while others don't. My parents for instance are
    both very intense smokers but have no cancer while a lot of people get
    cancer from smoking less than they do. I don't want to make a point
    about whether smoking is good or bad i just want to say that people's
    bodies handle it differently. Some are more likely to get cancer from
    smoking and die from it while others don't.

    How does this relate to social fitness and genetical fitness?
    Let's say there is a certain social structure which is pro-smoking. If
    you want to be a fully accepted part of it then you have to smoke. So
    based on social fitness the "smoking meme" is a good one to chose in
    this case. Furtheron, how does this "smoking society" affect genetical
    fitness? As different people in this society react differently to
    smoking, a part of the people's genetical fitness relies on the fact
    how good their body can deal with the effects of smoking. A person in
    this society who is unlikely to get cancer from smoking is genetically
    more fit (in this society!) then a person which gets cancer and dies.

    Therefore this "smoking society" creates a new aspect towards
    survival of certain dna in this society. Apart from nature, society,
    by requirering this behavior creates a new element of selection. Those
    who are less likely to get cancer in this society are more fit in it
    and survive. So apart from natural selection there is this actually
    human-created selection.

    So the "Smoking"-Meme in this society causes certain people to be
    genetically more fit than others. Furtheron this meme didn't came from
    nowhere, it was actually made part of society by people (Idols for

    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

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