Re: Darwinian Processes and Memes in Architecture

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 15:23:29 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Darwinian Processes and Memes in Architecture
    Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 16:23:29 +0100
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    Hi Salice, Ray,
    > >Furtheron, i feel kind of annoyed by people using memetics theory for
    > >expressing
    > >their personal tastes and giving pseudo-evidence to prove that their
    > >taste is universal true for everyone. Where's the science in there?

    > I agree.
    > I think it is a real problem that we need to look at. As another example
    > really liked the historical background given in Agner Fog's book 'Cultural
    > Selection' (much of which can be found online at
    > but I think his cultural r/K theory is way too oversimplified and full of
    > subjective classifications. I think there should be a broader discussion
    > of this. If this field is ever to be taken seriously we need to be
    > not to overreach, and I am not certain what we can do to keep the reins

    << I agree with both of you, expressing your feelings that memetics is
    misused to get personal gain, some points do need clarification, but I
    don 't see to which extend the two writers of this piece would gain so
    much being one a member of a division of mathematics and the other is deep
    in psychology I suppose.
    But that is all beside the point.

    The point is that both look at architectue from a memetic point of view,
    and IMO that is a good start. Where you think they are all for modernism,
    it seems to me that just the opposite is true. And moreover, in the para-
    graph beginning with ' different styles competed with each other....( just
    before part 7) they express IMO a very important issue indeed.
    The fact that in architecture the lowest of the information treshold is the
    one that gets propagated is meaningful for memetics.
    What makes memes propagate in the first place !?
    Undo any meme of its rich information content and you get the ' meme-
    core ', in a broader sense the memetype.

    In other words, quantity becomes quality, but this sounds paradoxal, but
    it is not, the more you get rid of additional info the better a meme will
    propagate itself, simplicity is the norm.
    Also, their new (8) factor seems to have a workable angle, encapsulation
    got indeed a nasty ring to it, but remerber the discussion about G- memes,
    artefacts ( Question to Wade) and the definition of imitation.

    There too you found encapsulation. The beauty of a statue is within that
    piece of art, we drag it out, it makes itself more attractive to us manipu-
    lating our emotions in order to propagate. The beauty is than protected
    by the whole of the gesture, the material of which it is made, form, pose,
    inside a complex of other memes the beauty is insulated from other more
    hostile memes. On an individual bias, most likely.

    You apply to them as not being original, to misuse memetics, but in doing
    that you are doing exactly the same thing of which you wanna fight.
    You start from out your ' scientific ' approach, which is due to certain
    rules and obligations, and I understand that, but ordering people to do
    just that, is exactly the same what you reproach them, you are willing
    to protect your ' political ' bias where upon memetics is placed.
    But, IMO, and that counts still for everything, you need the dichotomy
    in any debate.

    My opinion is, try to see this the other way round, try to see this as were
    the title, "A memetic theory to express their discomfort with Modernism",
    and you get a whole other ballgame.
    They made a few, but important mistakes, but if this can contribute to a
    better understanding of to ' how ' memetics/ memes work, I am all for
    for such kind of tokens.
    That is to say, that is why this list is for, to discuss the ramifications
    human culture as a whole.

    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)

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