Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id BAA14633 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 22 Jan 2002 01:34:31 GMT Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 17:30:05 -0800 Message-Id: <200201220130.g0M1U5C00904@mail15.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: [18.104.22.168] From: "Joe Dees" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)
> "Scott Chase" <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com Re: The necessity of mental memesDate: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 16:37:40 -0500
>>From: "Grant Callaghan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes
>>Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 07:40:31 -0800
>>>Anyway, since I already have been using the various terms "idea,"
>>>"behavior," "artifact," "thought contagion," "doctrine," "opinion,"
>>>system," and "urban legend," I find no communication difficulty arising
>>>not using the word "meme" alongside them. My book chapter "Evolutionary
>>>Contagion in Mental Software"
>>What I dislike in the choice of the word "contagion" to describe the
>>of information is the implication that the receiver has no choice but to be
>>"infected" by the idea. It also has connotations of sickness and a process
>>that leads to death. Most of the bacteria and a lot of the viruses that
>>invade our body do so harmlessly. Some are killers. But we have little
>>choice about catching the flu or HIV. I don't believe this is the case
>>memes. Although some memes, if taken up by a large enough number of
>>can lead to sickness within a society and the death of many of its members,
>>the overall effect of memes is to make the society stronger and allow us to
>>adapt to a changing environment that is changing too quickly for genetic
>>evolution to keep up with. It seems to me the terms "virus" and
>>were chosen to create fear and controversey. They are loaded with
>>baggage from historical attempts to survive plagues and their aftermath.
>>Emotion laden terminology should be kept out of the study of culture and
>>mind if we are to reach objective conclusions about them.
>"Contagion" may be apt for uses in certain cases though not a term to focus
>upon to the exclusion of other possibilities. I'm an agnostic on memes so
>I'm open to other terms and other views.
>There's a plethora of terms (erroneous or not) out there which refer to
>stuff influencing human individual and social behavior. It might be neat to
>construct a taxonomy of these terms, though I'm only aware of a limited
>number such as meme, mind virus, contagion, culturgen, engram, mnemon, neme,
>complex, idee' fixe, collective representation, archetype and so on.
The objection is reasonable, for many memes are symbiont rather than virulent, kinda like mental mitochondria.
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>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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