RE: playing at suicide

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun Jan 13 2002 - 05:02:39 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "RE: playing at suicide"

    Received: by id FAA14892 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 13 Jan 2002 05:05:36 GMT
    Message-Id: <>
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1
    Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 00:02:39 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: RE: playing at suicide
    In-Reply-To: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
    Precedence: bulk

    At 07:49 PM 12/01/02 -0800, "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >>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."

    Keith Henson

    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 : Sun Jan 13 2002 - 05:21:35 GMT