Re: The necessity of mental memes

Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 22:58:18 GMT

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    Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes
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    In a message dated 1/21/2002 2:53:54 AM Central Standard Time, Keith Henson
    <> writes:

    > 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
    > 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.

    Thanks, Keith.

    Yes, Cavali-Sforza and Feldman's 1981 book does indeed contain a discussion
    of various terms used in cultural evolution. This material is one of a
    variety of early works I would like to eventually discuss in a lengthier
    technical paper -- which would probably turn into a lenthy tecnical book. I
    look forward to seeing your earliest papers on the web, too.

    > 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
    > percent of the people at the first A Life conf had been L5 members.)

    I have heard of that meeting from Cloak. Regrettably, I could not attend.
    Interesting about all that connection to L5. It will be interesting to see
    what happens in the coming few decades of computer and cultural evolution,
    and whether the nastier possibilities out-pace the nicer ones.

    --Aaron Lynch

    > 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

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