Re: sex and the single meme

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 08:03:55 GMT

  • Next message: Francesca S. Alcorn: "Re: sex and the single meme"

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    Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 03:03:55 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
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    At 01:34 AM 20/01/02 -0500, "Francesca S. Alcorn" <>


    >But sex is simply the exchange of genetic material.

    True, but *why* sex (of the kind which goes on between complicated plants
    and animals) even exists was a major controversy for decades. Last I was
    following the analysis it looked like parasites were being given the major
    role in keeping plants and animals from going to parthenogenesis. I can't
    think of an analogy to apply to memetics, perhaps there is none.

    >If a meme enters your head (consentually or otherwise), it might contain
    >new ideas which you adopt and integrate into your existing meme structure
    >(or to use piaget's term, your schema). That is an exchange of memetic
    >information between two different memes. Ergo sex. If you incorporate
    >some of your ideas into the meme you received, and then pass it on to
    >someone else then that is also exchange of information. Ergo sex.

    For some classes memes, especially where knowledge is expanding mixing
    memetic elements is common. For other classes seldom if ever true. As an
    example, people who know the memes of baseball and basket ball almost never
    mix elements of the games to form a third game. (Unless you count in the
    comic strip where Calvin and Hobbs were playing "Calvin ball.")

    As an example of mixing elements, I have been stirring evolutionary
    psychology into memetics to answer the question of why some memes--lethal
    to genes or individuals--are contagious.

    Keith Henson

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