Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id IAA02305 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 18 Jan 2002 08:53:49 GMT Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 00:49:24 -0800 Message-Id: <200201180849.g0I8nOq03381@mail17.bigmailbox.com> Content-Type: text/plain Content-Disposition: inline Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary X-Mailer: MIME-tools 4.104 (Entity 4.116) X-Originating-Ip: [188.8.131.52] From: "Joe Dees" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Do all memes die out or evolve? I think not. Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)
>Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 10:45:56 +0000
> Chris Taylor <Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk> email@example.com Re: Do all memes die out or evolve? I think not.Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>>>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conflated evolution with some outdated natural theological view long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?
>> No one has said anything about theology except you. Try not to be so
>> literal. We're just chatting here, Scott.
>>>There's the difference between stabilizing selection which would keep a
>>>feature of a population at a satisfactory (ie- just getting by) state
>>>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
>Sorry in advance - this bloated out of all proportion...
>What we're on about here is local optima and (the usually impossible to
>find or even define especially in a dynamic world) global optima. It is
>quite legitimate to sit on a local optimum for ages. Coelacanths
>(spelling time...), tuataras, some cycad ferns, cyanobacteria etc.,
>ginkgos, sharks and other cartilaginous fish to an extent, crocodilians,
>arachnids - all offer examples of not really changing a whole hell of a
>lot over a long time. If we talk about ecosystems, many persist for
>extended periods, even though the players may change, because ecosystems
>have two opportunities for neutral change between their three levels.
>Nothing is ever a perfect fit though, it's just a question of staying as
>high on the fitness landscape as you can. If nothing better comes along
>(through external [ecological-environmental] or internal [genetic]
>change), and noone wipes you out, you'll probably stay more or less the
>same. That's it. I'd (just about) guarantee though that there'll always
>be something you could 'improve' but there will be some conflict
>(antagonistic pleiotropy and or epistasis and or some phenotypic design
>tradeoff) preventing the 'improvement' from evolving. Therefore lasting,
>but not perfect. Unless you mean perfect to be 'as good as it can get'.
>Also considering genes in isolation, homeobox genes are *really* ancient
>(animal) patterning genes that you can take out of a human, put in a fly
>(for god's sake) and they work fine - that is what I call sitting on
>your optimum; bear in mind though that that optimum is defined wholly by
>context (Francesca's point), but then most are - what do arbitrarily
>designed creatures consume - other arbitrarily designed creatures (plus
>light and/or some chemicals).
>Neutral evolution needs to be considered here, but only to be dismissed
>as long as we stick to considering phenotypes (which is all that memes
>have - more akin to Kauffman's coadapted complexes / Maynard Smith and
>Szathmary's hypercycles than a genotype/phenotype structure).
>Memes seem to have a phenotypic and ecological level, but what about the
>encoding? Are they an expression of something, or are they just sort of
>run 'in simulation' in their mind in the sense that they are their own
>encoding (I'd go for the latter, or a latte).
>As an aside it annoys me that coffee bars *have* to have a name for
>normal coffee (not latte/espresso/cappucino/mocha whatever) so it
>becomes cafe americano. There you go - that naming is only fit in the
>context of all the others having an extra bit of name...
If either of you can suggest a more optimum answer to the question "What is 2x2?" that 4, I am all ears...
> Chris Taylor (email@example.com)
> http://bioinf.man.ac.uk/ »people»chris
>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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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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