Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 3 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 23:52:43 GMT

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    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 3 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
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    At 02:29 PM 10/02/02 -0900, "Philip Jonkers" <>
    > > There are other defenses against the uncritical acceptance of
    > > potentially dangerous memes. Most common is the trait of rejecting all
    > > newfangled ideas, where "newfangled" is usually defined as any to which
    > > one has not been exposed before puberty. Societies have similar defenses
    > > against new ideas. There are also powerful meta-memes, that is, memes
    > > used to judge other memes. Of these, the scientific method is perhaps
    > > the most effective. Logic is another system by which memes can be
    > > tested, at least for consistency.
    >Saying that logic is different from the scientific method is like saying
    >math and physics are separable. The former is used by the latter.

    We have different words for them, and there are differences. Logic is a
    set of rules, the scientific method a recipe for understanding the
    universe. True it uses logic.

    > > With respect to the USSR, trade and tolerance are both at a low level.
    > > Historically trade was a much smaller part of the economy during the time
    > > the rest of Europe was undergoing the Renaissance. The recent attempts
    > > to introduce tolerance to other modes of economic systems in the USSR
    > > have more than a superficial similarity to the Catholic church finally
    > > deciding to live with the Protestants. A modern-day Renaissance in the
    > > USSR may be based on the free exchange of information through computers
    > > and free(r) trade.
    > >
    > > [Remember I wrote this in 19881]
    >So you went back to the future with this huh?

    <grin> Take off the trailing 1.

    > > The development of memetics provides improved mental tools (models)
    > > for thinking about the influences, be they benign, silly, or fatal, that
    > > replicating information patterns have on all of us. Here is a source of
    > > danger if memetics comes of age and only a few learn to create meme sets
    > > of great influence. Here too is liberation for those who can recognize
    > > and analyze the memes to which they are exposed. If "the meme about
    > > memes" infects enough people, rational social movements might become more
    > > common.
    >Nice article I like it...

    As I showed by the Google counts, there is fairly wide spread knowledge
    about memes on the sub set of science oriented people on the net. The
    concept seems to have spread little if at all into the rest of the culture.

    One thing that now seems fairly obvious to me now is that a "rational
    social movement" is almost a contradiction in terms.

    Will try to get the new article submitted shortly.

    If a few people are willing to comment on it, ask for a copy.


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