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

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 05:56:35 GMT

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    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
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    At 11:03 PM 13/02/02 -0500, Aaron wrote:


    >The points you raise about how memetics may be ideologically
    >threatening to a growing movement are good ones. In the case of the
    >Libertarians, there may be another consideration: that the theory
    >suggests that not all the major problems and misbeliefs of society can
    >be traced to the actions of governments, and that populations can go
    >astray even without the action of a central authority.

    That's certainly true. As an example, the al-Qaeda cult can't really be
    called a government. And the corruption the scientologists cause is not a
    function of governments.

    > From what Scott says, it appears that the furor at Reason and at
    >Liberty happened long after you wrote the article. That is, assuming
    >that I correctly remember you having started to circulate the article
    >sometime around 1986. If 1996 was the year of the big flap at
    >Reason and at Liberty, then the whole thing would have been a very
    >current and emotional memory to them by the time they got my book in

    I had the wrong person, corrected in a followup to Scott. The Analog meme
    article went to them some time in 1986. I was working on the Reason
    article before Analog came out. So they would have seen it perhaps late in
    1987 would be my guess. I am away from my files or I might be able to pull
    out a reject notice.

    That a *rejected* article would be remembered close to ten years later is
    amazing. I can't see what is in it that would have had that much
    effect. Now that I think about it, it rejected *twice.* It had been
    written after I talked Robert Poole about a meme article, so it was a real
    surprise to get it back. I called and told them it had been written by
    arrangement and they said to send it back. I got another reject with a
    note that Poole was no longer editor. Perhaps the reason it was remembered
    was because of some internal battle and has nothing to do with the content.

    Memetics, history of.



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