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At 07:49 PM 12/01/02 -0800, "Grant Callaghan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 01:24:53 +0100
>> > I wasn't trying to start an earthquake or
>> > anything, just to counter the idea that memes are like selfish genes.
>>According to your theory of memes, can you explain why you do
>I do it because the meme doesn't ring true to me and therefore doesn't
>allow me to do what I want to do, which is to understand memes. I feel
>like Copernicus wondering why people want him to believe the earth is the
>center of the solar system. It may turn out that they're right and I'm
>wrong, but I can't help wondering.
I think you are barking up the wrong tree.
Memes are *simple,* patterns of information that can be passed from one
organism to another by a process more or less of imitation. Learning if
you will. Don't try to make memetics more complicated than it is.
I think what you might be looking for falls under the area of evolutionary
psychology. If any area of human knowledge can provide a model for the
pathological memetics examples, Jim Jones, Solar Temple, Heaven's Gate and
others, not to mention why people in cults act like they are addicted,
evolutionary psychology is the field. Try
"The goal of research in evolutionary psychology is to discover and
understand the design of the human mind. Evolutionary psychology is an
approach to psychology, in which knowledge and principles from evolutionary
biology are put to use in research on the structure of the human mind. It
is not an area of study, like vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is
a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within it.
"In this view, the mind is a set of information-processing machines that
were designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our
hunter-gatherer ancestors. This way of thinking about the brain, mind, and
behavior is changing how scientists approach old topics, and opening up new
ones. This chapter is a primer on the concepts and arguments that animate it."
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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