Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 03:53:14 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception"

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    Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 22:53:14 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
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    At 08:29 PM 14/01/02 -0500, Ray Recchia <>

    >I don't think this C-meme, I-meme distinction is a good one. Person Alpha
    >learns how to ride a bicycle by watching someone else do it.
    >I-meme. Person Beta learns how to ride a bicycle by having someone
    >describe the motions necessary to accomplish the action. C-meme. They both
    >know how to ride a bicycle but you would call this two different
    >memes. Just to screw things up even further suppose Person Delta, without
    >seeing or reading any description of how to ride, just figures out that
    >the thing must be for riding and plays with it until she figures out how
    >it works. A- or Artefact derived meme right? Humans built the bicycle and
    >you can figure what to do with it just by playing with the thing. I think
    >the meme should be 'riding a bicycle' and not have different labels
    >depending on how one arrived at it. The distinction between the three
    >modes of transmission is an important one but I do not think it works for
    >describing the memes themselves.
    >Ray Recchia

    I certainly agree. Abstracting the information and letting that be the
    meme is by far the best way to understand memes. There is no reason to
    complicate what is a very simple concept.

    Now *why* people can be infected with memes that do them and their genes a
    great deal of damage, *that* an interesting topic. It happens to be one I
    spent a good number of years trying to understand.

    Sex, Drugs and Cults

    ---An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective On Why and How Cult Memes Get A
    Drug-Like Hold On People

    "Cult memes hijack two evolved psychological mechanisms. One is
    capture-bonding, also known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Capture-bonding
    evolved as a survival mechanism for individuals captured between
    tribes. It lies behind social phenomena as diverse as army basic training
    and spouse abuse. Cults evoke capture-bonding mechanisms for both
    obtaining and retaining members. (Examples, EST lockup meetings, Moonies
    isolation recruitment, Scientology RPF.)

    "The other and more important psychological mechanism is attention
    rewards. Cult (memes) take advantage of this reproductive success related
    reward pathway by focusing attention on members (love bombing, auditing and
    attention intensive "training routines.") Attention is used by social
    primates to measure social status, a matter of major importance
    particularly for males in determining reproductive success. Attention
    activates the major brain reward pathway by causing the release of
    endorphins and dopamine. This is the same reward pathway hijacked by
    addictive drugs.

    "Evolutionary psychology is invoked to analyze both of these mechanisms."

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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