Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 03:21:03 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 22:21:03 -0500
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    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    >Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 21:44:09 -0500
    >At 03:51 PM 13/02/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >>In a message dated 2/10/2002 11:23:12 AM Central Standard Time, Keith
    >><> writes:
    >> > But a good fraction of the memes that make up human culture fall
    >> > the categories of political, philosophical, or religious. A rationale
    >> > for the spread and persistence for these memes is a much deeper
    >> > The spread of some memes of these classes at the expense of others is
    >> > intense concern to many readers of Reason. If we are to be effective
    >> >
    >> > [This article was originally written for Reason, a Libertarian
    >> > few years earlier I wrote Star Laws for them. Between the time I
    >> > the editor about it and the time I sent the article in, there was a
    >> > in management and the article was rejected. ("Star Laws Arel" will
    >> > this article in Google Groups if you want to read it.)]
    >>Hi Keith.
    >>I don't know if this is beyond Reason, but the next time you send an
    >>to a Libertarian magazine, you might try a title such as "Memes,
    >>and Markets." I heard about the furor that your article caused with the
    >>editors at Reason. When Thought Contagion came out, it got scathing and
    >>inaccurate reviews from Libertarian activists writing in three magazines!
    >>magazines were Reason, Liberty, and Free Inquiry. The latter is not a
    >>Libertarian magazine, but the reviewer Thomas Flynn was a Libertarian
    >I really appreciate the history! Let me add a bit to it.
    >I guess it would have been the election of 1988, or possibly 1992, not
    >sure. In any case it was the year Harry Browne was running for VP on the
    >Libertarian ticket.

    1988 had Ron Paul as presidential candidate and Andre Marrou as vice
    presidential candidate

    1992 has Andre Marrou as P and Nancy Lord as VP

    1996 had Harry Browne as P and Jo Jorgensen as VP

    2000 had Harry Browne as P and Art Oliver as VP

    Thus, it was neither 1988 nor 1992 and Browne was a *presidential* candidate
    in 1996 and 2000.
    >Someone had handed him a copy of Memes, MetaMemes and
    >Politics. He was much taken by it and called me up, asking me to submit
    >the rejected article to Liberty, wanted to hold workshops on it, etc.
    >After the rejection at Reason, I was not keen to send it to Liberty, but
    >Browne talked me into it. Again, memory is kind of dim on this, but I
    >think I sent them a paper copy. I don't remember if I called them a few
    >weeks later or the other way around, but I remember getting a really
    >hostile blast from the editor of Liberty--which I thought was really odd
    >after having been asked to send them a copy by a national candidate of the
    >Libertarian party. He was really upset about it. Seems he blasted Browne
    >as well. Next time I talked to him, he had way cooled of on the idea.
    >The rejections from the libertarian publications was odd in another way,
    >they could not express what their problem with the concepts of memetics
    >It was similar, now that I think about it, to the total rejection of even
    >the *thought* by a scientologists of applying any kind of scientific
    >measurement (such as double blind) to scientology. In fact, scientologists
    >go further. Their minds completely reject the possibility that such tests
    >are needed for *anything.* The ones who post on the net can't even
    >describe why you have to take care while making people related
    >measurements. It is quiet odd, and I have remarked on it in a number of
    >postings over a few years.
    >I wonder a bit if what we see in both of these cases is that intense
    >dedication to a meme leaves you highly defensive about topics which even
    >hint that the meme that the focus of you life might be just one of the
    >crowd and not the revealed TRUTH OF THE UNIVERSE.
    >Another example of people rejecting the very idea of memetics was the
    >Skeptics. I wrote very early, 1984 or 1985 to them about a memetics
    >article. If I remember correctly, that article was eventually published in
    >two parts in the Bay Area Skeptics magazine in 1985 or 1986. The Skeptics
    >magazine eventually had a meme article more than a decade after I wrote one
    >for them. I don't remember the details about why Free Inquiry had a
    >problem with memetics. It may have been due to the single person you
    >>I believe it was someone at Reason who told me that they still
    >>remembered your rejected article 10 years later!
    >>--Aaron Lynch
    >Yea Ghods!
    >The concept has run into a bit of opposition. Well, it didn't do them a
    >bit of good to reject it. I posted it on the net and while the count may
    >be down now, at one time there were at least a dozen web sites where you
    >could find it. Memetics may not have taken hold at the level of the major
    >magazines, but it sure has among the people to whom being a libertarian is
    >just part of a whole complex of future oriented memes.

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