Re: i-culture and m-culture

N Rose (
Wed, 04 Jun 1997 10:42:41 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 10:42:41 +0000
From: N Rose <>
Subject: Re: i-culture and m-culture

N Rose wrote:
> > If you agree with the existence of memetic phenotypes (like
> Cloak) then is cultural evolution inevitably a Lamarkian
> Is this a fatal problem for the theory of cultural change using
> an evolutionary model?
> >

Chris wrote:
>Just for clarification, would anyone like to give some examples
>where meme phenotypes acquire new characteristics (before
>replicating in another brain) and then pass on that new
>information to the next meme generation?

There are plenty of examples of Lamarkian transmission, not least
in the psychology of memory, e.g. Bartlett (1930's). The game
'Chinese Whispers' is perhaps the most overused example.
However, here are a couple of examples of what you could consider
meme phenotypes acquiring new characteristics 'in transit'.

Ripping a few pages out of an instruction manual before letting
you read it.
Changing the dimensions from feet to metres on a architect's blue
print before you attempt to build a house.
Cutting out all reference to Mr Orange from Reservoir Dogs before
you watch it.
Removing Genesis from the Bible before letting you read it.
Changing the word He to She throughout the same book.

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