Re: playing at suicide

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sun Jan 06 2002 - 19:47:36 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Re: playing at suicide"

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    Subject: Re: playing at suicide
    Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 20:47:36 +0100
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Grant Callaghan <>

    I find the case of the little boy particularly instructive. My own theory
    on memes is that they are tools used by people to accomplish certain goals.
    This is how they are spread and why they are chosen. The little boy was
    trying to use the meme he thought his little sister had used to get
    attention and affection. He saw that this was an effective tool when used
    by his little sister. All memes are acquired, used and passed on in this
    manner. The only exception is memes that are invented by the original user.
      Using this criteria to decide what is and is not a meme provides a basis
    by which to define and categorize memes for further study.

    Hi Grant,

    Glad to be of service !
    Of course you are right claiming that the boy used the memes to get the
    same attention as his (dead) sister did, but such a straight forwarded
    behavior can' t be ' invented ' IMO. Genetic determents and acquired/
    learned behavior are also part of the equation. There is no doubt that
    genetic inherited, by the concept of natural selection promoted effects
    can cause a particular social behavior, but in the case of the boy's con-
    duct I think a more species- bound construct composed his doing.
    Attention and affection are, in most cases, universal and spread through-
    out the animalworld of which we are part.

    By the way about you own theory on memes.
    People use memes as tools to accomplish certain goals, this is how they
    are spread and why they are chosen, you write.
    The point in memetics is who/ what does the choosin ' !?
    Is it the you, the I inside you or is it the concept of evolving memes !?
    I ask you this because if " you " choose the memes, the accomplishment
    would be Lamarckian in process and that is something what is excluded
    in memetics.

    The same counts for ' all memes are acquired, used and passed on '.
    Possible they are, but passed on in a none genetic way, that is.
    Otherwise you will built a house without any scientific foundation.
    That is the mainstream idea, but that is not my cop of thee, so tell me
    more about your theory !?

    Best regards,


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