Re: Do all memes die out or evolve? I think not.

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 23:27:36 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception"

    Received: by id XAA27173 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 16 Jan 2002 23:31:59 GMT
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Do all memes die out or evolve? I think not.
    Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 18:27:36 -0500
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 16 Jan 2002 23:27:36.0666 (UTC) FILETIME=[61AF43A0:01C19EE5]
    Precedence: bulk

    >From: "Dace" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Re: Do all memes die out or evolve? I think not.
    >Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:11:06 -0800
    >Joe Dees:
    > > I think that some memes reach an optimized limit state that nevertheless
    > > retains their functionality and usefulness. For instance, I do not see
    > > the multiplication tables either dying out or evolving.
    >Are you backing off from your assertion that memetics is the evolutionary
    >theory of meaning?
    >Just because memes are liable to arrive at an optimal state doesn't mean
    >they aren't still products of evolution. The same thing occurs in the
    >natural environment all the time. Organisms get to a certain point where
    >they fit their ecosystem perfectly.
    I didn't realize evolution was about perfection. Are you sure you haven't
    conflated evolution with some outdated natural theological view long
    replaced by Darwin's evolution via selection?

    There are constraints (eg- historically channeling baggage) which impede
    reaching perfection, whatever "perfection" may be.

    How's your lower back feeling? Ever have appendicitis? It would be perfect
    if humans didn't need to get their "wisdom" teeth removed.
    Then the ecosystem gets washed away, and only those that are able to further
    evolve will survive. In the event of a general breakdown of civilization,
    multiplication tables would have little use and might disappear. The other
    possibility is a genetically engineered leap in intelligence that could
    render multiplication tables unnecessary. In that case, if they evolved
    into much greater complexity, then they might be useful again and would
    There's the difference between stabilizing selection which would keep a
    feature of a population at a satisfactory (ie- just getting by) state within
    a stable ecological context and directional selection which takes the
    population toward a different state "better" for a different ecological
    context when this context has itself changed, along with the playing field.

    Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:

    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 : Wed Jan 16 2002 - 23:39:09 GMT