Case study: meme extinction

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Wed, 4 Jun 1997 13:13:44 -0500

From: <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 13:13:44 -0500
Subject: Case study: meme extinction

I've attached the following comments from Subbiah Arunachalam (arun@indy., Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
600 036, India. In it he discusses the idea that electronic publishing is
leading to a demise of local Indian culture (knowledge systems). I post it
as a current concern of some merit, something that memetics address with
some success:

* The transition to electronic publishing from print will widen the
gap between the advanced countries and the developing countries,
especially in the field of production and dissemination of

* Many developing countries, especially those with large
populations, do not have the necessary infrastructure (computer
terminals, networks, communication channels, bandwidth, etc.) and
will take a long time to have it in place to be able to take part as
equal partners in the worldwide enterprise of knowledge production
and exchange.

* There is another very serious problem. The traditional knowledge
systems, because their practitioners are not well-versed in
electronic communication, will die out very soon. This has already
happened, even before the arrival of electronic publishing, thanks to
the homogenising effect of western cultures which made many facets of
other cultures extinct.

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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