Re: sex and the single meme

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 09:27:59 GMT

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    Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 04:27:59 -0500
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    Subject: Re: sex and the single meme
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    Keith said:

    >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.

    Have you read "The Botany of Desire?" The author says that certain
    plants have evolved to exploit human preferences, and use humans to
    enhance their reproduction - that it doesn't make sense for a plant
    like marijuana to devote it's resources to making chemicals which
    mimic human neurotransmitters unless there is a payoff for the plant.
    He also talks about animal intoxication.

    The director who made "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (sorry, can't remember
    his name) also made a movie about animal behavior, and showed footage
    of several African animals drunk on the fermented fruit of the morula
    tree. He said that animals returned to the trees the same time every
    year to eat the fruit.

    I have been trying to catch up on some of the backlogged posts, and
    came across your thread about spoiled pathways. :)

    My guess is that it has to do with powerlessness. Many of these
    effects are also present when the trauma is experienced by an adult
    as well, although they may not be as profound.

    At the end of this article they refer to "focused therapeutic
    experiences" which I have also heard called "corrective emotional
    experiences" to heal the brain. I think people are seeking out
    corrective emotional experiences when they join cults or gangs -
    trying to regain for themselves a sense of power through
    affiliation/self-image enhancement. The meme propagates by
    exploiting this drive for self-healing - in much the way that therapy
    and self-help books also exploit it.

    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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