Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA04721 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 9 Jan 2002 12:49:12 GMT Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D1CD@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Wade's hammer Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 12:36:54 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
ooh I'm so tempted to do that old joke about American culture being an
oops I just did...
> From: Grant Callaghan
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2002 15:52 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Wade's hammer
> Hi Wade
> > >What I do is
> > >use memetics as a 'tool' to find evidence for cultural manipulation in
> > >storyscape.
> >So, you might think of a meme as a mathematical formula derived from the
> >patterns of cultural, uh, what? Propagation? Mutation?
> >How do you determine what is mutated, and how?
> >In what sense are, say, low-rider jeans a mutation from pantaloons?
> >How do we speciate culture? And are we justified in doing so, when
> >culture itself is a product of only one species?
> >- Wade
> Although I don't see mutation as a useful concept for what happens in the
> meme stream -- the way memes are formed insures that they will not be
> faithfully in most cases -- I can see a sense in which there is speciation
> between culutres. Seaparation, for example, causes speciation in nature
> (genes) and it does the same thing in culutre. Language, for example,
> defines a culture. When English culture came to America with the
> it follow an evolutionary path that diverged greatly from the culture
> expressed in England. Even at the time of Franklin and Jefferson, people
> were writing about it. The political memes of our revolution were taken
> by the French and used to change the concept of how to govern in their
> country. Most people now agree that American culture and English culture
> are two different cultures. But we still retain a lot of the memes we
> brought with us.
> But look at genetic evolution. Humans and Chimps share some 99% of their
> DNA but the differences between the two are immediately apparent. The
> cultural differences between Brits and Americans are much greater as a
> percentage of the whole but you have to step back and look at the whole
> culture to see how different we really are. Because of language and
> communication we have managed to keep sharing memes across the ocean and
> amount of separation is not as much as it once was. But our legal and
> political systems seem a world apart to the people from the other side who
> get caught up in them. The same applies to education, art, music, and all
> the fields where we once shared a common cultural ancestry.
> It reminds me of two species of butterfly I once read about. The only
> difference between them was that one came out in the morning and the other
> came out in the evening. But that was enough that they are now unable to
> mate with each other. It takes a lot more memes to cause cultural
> speciation than it does genes to cause genetic speciation. That's because
> the genetic code is very tightly controlled by its process of evolution
> the evolution of memes is much faster and looser and the kind of
> on which it is based is not passed the same way.
> If I see you doing something and try to copy it, I may not understand what
> you are trying to do or why you are doing it, but I will come up with
> something that outwardly resembles what you did. Take the kid crashing
> airplane, for example. Outwardly, what he did was the same thing the al
> Queda did with airliners. But when you get beneath that outward venier,
> there was little or no resemblance at all. The only thing they had in
> common was the use of a crashed airplane to make a statement. But I don't
> think the statements they were making were anything alike. One was a
> display of hatered, the other a cry for help.
> Back on the subject of memes and speciation, it's not the memes themselves
> that mutate. Or perhaps we can look at the single instances of change as
> more like the three-letter words that make up a gene. They only change
> things when they fit into the process as a whole. Those that don't fit
> cast out.
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
> 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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=============================================================== 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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