Re: Wilson on memes (fun example)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 02:30:50 GMT

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    Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 21:30:50 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Wilson on memes (fun example)
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    At 07:36 PM 15/02/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >Hi Keith Henson -
    > >Personally I think that attempts to give exact definitions are a waste of
    > >time. If you get to the stage of modeling or even thought experiments, it
    > >is clear from the model or the math what you are doing.
    >That seems perfectly self-consistent.
    >And there are several models. I'm not a mathematician, but, is there one
    >that shows a meme is a requirement, or that models human behavior
    >successfully because of its inclusion? Or are there merely experimental
    >models that use a meme (of whatever definition) as a constant somehow?
    >Or is there one that makes a meme an obvious derivation?
    >Again, IMHO, there is not, unless the meme is behavioral.

    Here is a meme. Make a square of 9 dots. The problem is how do you
    connect all these dots with no more than 4 line segments and without
    lifting a pencil?

    o o o 1 2 3
    o o o 4 5 6
    o o o 7 8 9

    The trick is that you go "outside the box." The first line goes through 1,
    2, 3 then 6, 8 then 7, 4, 1 then 5 and 9.

    Once you know the trick (are there any on this list who did not know
    previously?) or figure it out you have been changed. If presented by this
    puzzle, you go zip, zip, zip, zap, done. You don't need more than this
    explanation or to see a picture of the problem solved once.

    Those who have been exposed and picked up this meme can be sorted out from
    those who do not by an extremely simple test. But though some may have
    done the puzzle and therefore exhibited behavior, some may have only read
    about as you are here and until tested there is no behavior. So people can
    pick up memes passively with no behavior involved, and if they don't come
    upon the puzzle, they my *never* evidence the behavior. They can, of
    course, pass it on the way I am doing here.

    Perhaps from this example you can see why I consider the "meme of how to
    solve the 9 dot puzzle" information, along with all other memes.


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