Re: Memes and Mind Viruses

Bill Benzon (
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 12:17:36 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 12:17:36 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Memes and Mind Viruses

the memetic Darwinist can predict that
>religions, MLM's, chain letters, and animals (remember the "charismatic
>megafauna" flap) with "good memes" will populate people's minds in the
>future at the expense of the less fit. We should be doing experiments
>right now to test this hypothesis.

The trouble is that so very little effort is going into figuring out what
determines memetic fitness, what makes a good meme. In the biological world
we know that organisms need to live in a certain temperature range, have
certain nutrients, etc. We know alot about that stuff so that talk of
biological fitness has real substance. But memetic fitness has so far been
treated as an after-thought, except, perhaps, by evolutionary epistemology.
Without a robust account of cultural fitness, doing such experiments is
going to be difficult.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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