Re: "Smoking" Memes

From: Pascal Jouxtel (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 09:25:24 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: "Smoking" Memes"

    Received: by id JAA04339 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:27:32 GMT
    Message-ID: <001601c1605b$a4611200$3710e4d5@necdirect>
    From: "Pascal Jouxtel" <>
    To: <>
    References: <>
    Subject: Re: "Smoking" Memes
    Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 10:25:24 +0100
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600
    Precedence: bulk

    I would rather try to put it 'Aaron Lynch's way' : not asking if one of
    those two antagonist memes is good or bad, pro-gene or counter-gene, but
    what gives each one its power to replicate in certain environments, and why
    not a try at a prognosis about the winner ?

    I witness this fight in the office arena, as the 'delegue du personnel'.

    I notice that non smokers are much more agressive to smokers (I mean
    verbally and emotionnally, not chemically !). This gives one superiority to
    the NS meme in the 'adversative' mode.
    I notice too that in a meeting attended by 20 people, NS carriers will speak
    more openly in favor of their memes. They are more active, and more
    documented proselytes, and they adress larger audiences. This gives another
    type of superiority to NS in the 'proselytic' mode.
    I suppose, knowing what I know about the French culture, that S is widely
    spread among single working women, either not married or divorced with a
    small number of kids. On the other hand, NS is (so I have witnessed) widely
    spread among strongly structured families with over 4 kids. This gives
    superiority to NS on the 'quantity parental' mode.
    I personnally hope to feel better when I quit smoking. This is the advantage
    of NS in the 'motivational' mode.
    You could also add : smoking is bad for computers, it adds to legal
    coffee-breaks, it cuts 4-hours meetings in half (la pause
    Café-pipi-cigarette) so it makes sense to think a totally NS company will
    work better than a S one.

    I notice that on the other hand, S-carriers express themselves openly in
    festive assemblies, which reinforces their 'Smoke-Freedom-Pleasure-Pride'
    association. They also maintain a feeling that you must start by disgusting
    yourself before switching from S to NS. This give a 'preservational'
    advantage to S.
    I should also say that NS bearers need to have a few S addicts around to
    remind them how wonderful their own life is. It may occur that in an
    environment where S has been totally 'memocided', a few NS-memes would get
    expelled by their hosts in a rebellious Orwellian outburst.

    I should expect that in the run of 10-20 years, NS will become largely
    dominant (over 95%) in the western world. But that might be time for
    legalisation of another drug, so S might mutate to something else.

    What I mean to say is who cares if a meme is good or bad, and what's more,
    who cares if it protects our species, as long as it can still make copies of
    itself in manners totally independent from both your ethics and your health.

    (Opium trade in Afghanistan can provide weapons for the jihad to ban drugs.)

    Thank you again, Aaron, for providing such useful intellectual tools. (read
    also 'drug abuse', page 150-151 in thoughtcontagions)

    A bientot sur / see you soon on
    Tell your friends / parlez-en à vos amis
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "salice" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2001 10:45 PM
    Subject: "Smoking" Memes

    > 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
    > tho.
    > 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
    > instance).
    > ===============================================================
    > 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:

    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 : Mon Oct 29 2001 - 09:33:03 GMT