Selfish memes?

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 18:18:28 GMT

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    Subject: Selfish memes?
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:18:28 -0800
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Keith Henson

    > >>We're born into a world already
    > >>chalk full of ideas, all of which want to seduce us and propagate in
    > >>our consciousness,
    > >
    > >I don't believe ideas "want" to do anything.
    > Of course not, and genes are not "selfish." It is a shortcut method of
    > thinking Dawkins used to consider things from a gene's or a meme's
    > viewpoint.

    He wrote an entire book called *The Selfish Gene.* Are you saying he didn't
    really mean it? I think we have to accept the fact that, according to
    Dawkins' theory, memes are not merely ideas capable of replication but
    autonomous ideas that actively pursue self-replication, much like genes.

    > But an idea can certainly cause the person who has it to spread the idea
    > others. Such memes tend to become more common as time goes on.

    Anything with causative power has its own intrinsic existence.


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