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At 05:22 PM 21/01/02 -0800, "Dace" <email@example.com>
> > Salice:
> > By the way, these kind of memes are pathological according to Ted,
> > as they obviously give an false interpretation of reality.
>I'm not the one reducing an unresolved 2500 year-old philosophical debate to
>a battle of the memes. Obviously, there's going to be some truth in there s
>omewhere. I'd take Aristotle over Plato any day (and Darwin over Weismann).
>The point is that some memes carry truth (or the nearest we can come to it)
>while other memes carry nothing other than whatever enables them to
>procreate more effectively.
Another way to put it, symbiotic memes vs parasitic memes. With respect to
what are they symbiotic or parasitic? Genes. Genes, and the animals they
construct, live in the real world. The "truth" memes carry is with respect
to the real (objective) world. Memes have to be in sync with the real
world or at least not dangerously out of sync or the animals using them
(mostly humans) and their genes fail to make it into the next
generation. A meme to plant seeds in the fall may have been as fatal to
early humans and their genes as the Shaker meme of never having sex was
fatal to the genes of those it infected.
>The essence of logical memes is their content.
Because by being based in a true representation of the world, or at least a
harmless one, they aid or at least don't interfere with genes.
>The essence of pathological memes is their memeness, that is, their ability
>to reproduce and to colonize minds.
Pathological or parasitical. To the extent you can see the evolution of
cults to religions (typically taking 300 years) you are seeing a meme move
from a parasite to a symbiote. That does not always happen, but it is a
typical path for the evolution of biological parasites to take. Along this
line it is possible to say something good about even scientology. It may
be all that keeps some people from being sucked into something *even
worse,* like Heaven's Gate. Or as I put it in one of my papers, it is
safer to be a Methodist than to be sucked into Jim Jones's cult.
PS. Memes can be *conditionally* true. A meme of "it is safer to drive
on the left side of the road" is a true meme only in places where others
are doing the same. :-)
PPS. The metameme of the scientific method is the way we have figured out
how to rate memes as to how well they fit the real world--a measure of
truth in this context.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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