Re: The necessity of mental memes

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 08:46:48 GMT

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    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 03:46:48 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes
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    At 02:09 AM 21/01/02 -0500, <>


    >Hi Keith.
    >While Dawkins did credit Cloak in 1976,

    snip (excellent historical stuff and thanks for putting up the Cloak
    paper. Some of my out of print very early meme articles are being put on
    line as part of a project to put the L5 News through the early 80s on line.)

    I am working mostly from memory, but there were several other terms being
    used in the late 70s and early 80s before "meme" more or less became the
    catch word. I remember a whole list of them in an early section of a book
    by (I think) Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, possibly Cultural Transmission and
    Evolution: A Quantitative Approach (1981), though it might have been an
    earlier book. More about him
    here: If
    anyone has this book, please take a look.

    I think "a unit of culture" is essentially identical to meme.

    I met F.T. Cloak in 1987, same time I first met Richard Dawkins at the
    First Artificial Life Conference, coincidentally hosted by friend of mine
    from Tucson, Chris Langton. (Chris was an L5 Society volunteer. About ten
    percent of the people at the first A Life conf had been L5 members.)

    While digging for details, (I was off a year) I found this gem:

    Hans Moravec, CMU, "Human Culture - A Genetic Takeover Underway" (44 min)
    After a distinctly nervous, but quite humorous (though the audience
    failed to appreciate such gems as symbiotic flint arrowheads and an
    allusion to Oolon Caluphad's Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes)
    beginning discussion of cultural evolution and some robotic experiments
    at CMU, he moves into a very intriguing analysis of when human level
    intelligence may be expected to emerge in computers. Bottom line is
    20 to 50 years depending on whether you want to do it in a supercomputer
    or a Mac VII+e/*.

    and for some heavy future memes, try here

    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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