Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id CAA15520 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 5 Feb 2002 02:58:27 GMT Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2002 18:52:46 -0800 Message-Id: <email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain Content-Disposition: inline Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary X-Mailer: MIME-tools 4.104 (Entity 4.116) X-Originating-Ip: [188.8.131.52] From: "Joe Dees" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Selfish memes ? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)
>Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 12:16:27 +1100
> Re: Selfish memes ? John Wilkins <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.comReply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>On Tuesday, February 5, 2002, at 11:52 AM, Joe Dees wrote:
>> Memes simply cannot be selfish because they are not self-reflective,
>> i.e. they cannot say to themselves "I'd better take this action in my
>> own self-interest". Memes do not possess intention. They simply
>> mutate, that is, they are intentionally or inadvertantly mutated by us,
>> their hosts, and the mutations that are better at both hooking into the
>> cognitive environments of others and penetrating others' existing
>> memetic filters disproportionately replicate.
>The point of the "selfish gene/meme" metaphor is that we can model the
>behavior/dynamics of these things *as if* they were rationally
>self-interest agents. We can also model economic behavior that way, or
>international relations, but nobody thinks that economic agents really
>*are* rational, and as for international diplomacy... well.
>This is because game theory, which is the branch of mathematics used by
>Maynard Smith to mathematise selection processes in evolution, was
>developed to deal with, oddly, economic behaviors and international
>diplomacy, and it uses the rational egoist as the "ideal agent" from
>which to begin so that "irrational" behaviors can be identified. But it
>is not to say that people are either rational or egoistic, nor is it to
>say that genes or memes are somehow reflective agents. It's just that
>the maths works.
The 'intentional stance' model does indeed work in the arenas you mentioned; the classic masterwork is THEORY OF GAMES AND ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR by Von Neumann and Morgenstern.
Economics is no more than the synthesis of existentialism ( people are economically responsible for the consequences of their own market decisions), ethical egotism (people will always act in their own perceived economic self-interest) and the lack of omniscience of the agents (so that they always are making their decisions on the basis of incomplete information - and herein lies the risk).
>John S Wilkins
>Head, Communication Services
>The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
>Parkville, Victoria, Australia
>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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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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