Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id SAA03356 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Sat, 9 Feb 2002 18:45:19 GMT Message-Id: <email@example.com> X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1 Date: Sat, 09 Feb 2002 13:41:51 -0500 To: email@example.com From: Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Words and memes: Memes and religion/cults In-Reply-To: <NEBBKOADILIOKGDJLPMAEENACKAA.email@example.com> References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
At 08:55 AM 09/02/02 -0500, you wrote:
>My sense is that memes are value neutral. Memetics may help explain HOW
>systems of beliefs, e.g. religions, spread, but it does not favor such
>spread any more than it favors the spread of anti- or non-relgious beliefs.
I would put it that memetics (study of memes) tends to be value neutral,
but I see nothing at all wrong with putting highly negative values on memes
that damage people and positive values on memes that support the things we
generally consider to be good.
>I _can_ see how figures in authority over systems that are largely
>belief-based would worry about the field of memetics, as it rather
>undermines the notion that beliefs are purely linked to truth and reality or
>some non-human authority, such as gods or religious tomes.
The concept of replicating cultural element has been around at least 35
years and the word meme used for over 25. " memetics OR meme" limited to
English in Google returns 144,000 hits. This area of knowledge may not
excite a lot of opposition. At least the history so far suggest that.
>Memes, as instruments of transmission of beliefs, are neutral in the same
>way that a hammer is: they can be used for purposes or effects that we might
>consider good, or bad but it has more to do with the designer and wielders
>of the contents of the meme than its intrinsic existence as the medium of
So far as I know memetics has not been used to create a meme or resulting
social movement for either good or evil.
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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