Re: Mutation and Selection

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 14:57:02 GMT

  • Next message: William Benzon: "Re: the hook"

    Received: by id PAA21821 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Thu, 29 Nov 2001 15:02:16 GMT
    Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 09:57:02 -0500
    Subject: Re: Mutation and Selection
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
    From: Wade Smith <>
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    In-Reply-To: <>
    Message-Id: <>
    X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.475)
    Precedence: bulk

    > Well take a book, a pencil and draw in it.

    Your definition of mutation is bizarre. Although I understand
    your inclination to think that any defacing of an artefact is a
    mutation of it. And in some ways, perhaps you're right _if_ that
    scribble appears in another artefact. Because, like mutations
    occuring only in replications in nature, I was assuming
    _replications_ of artefacts in culture, or, self-changing
    artefacts in culture.

    Like I said, that book ain't going to write on itself.

    And here- your definition covers vandalism, too-

    > You could rip out some of the buttons,

    Again, my keyboard will not do that by itself.

    And, via software configurations, I can alter the layout of my
    keyboard to a Dvorak or a Japanese system. And this would not be
    mutation, this is the designed usage of the artefact.

    > No, i don't even think that memes are in the mind, i think the
    > mind uses
    > memes to transfer ideas between minds. Cultural artefacts are
    > just a tool
    > to transfer ideas from mind to mind, let it be that the
    > original creating
    > mind already ceased to exist.

    That the original creating artefacter has ceased to exist is
    irrelevant. The artefact itself exists. My storyteller point was
    that his story does not exist when he dies. No recording or
    memory of it exists. Oral history requires telling. And, since,
    in your explanation, cultural artefacts are the tools that
    transfer ideas, memes are not required.

    - Wade

    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 : Thu Nov 29 2001 - 15:08:24 GMT