Re: URGENT: the Exponential Meme

Timothy Perper/Martha Cornog (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 12:52:46 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 12:52:46 -0500
From: (Timothy Perper/Martha Cornog)
Subject: Re: URGENT: the Exponential Meme

TP>> The number of memetics messages in my In Box is growing
>exponentially., I suggest that
HCS>are you serious or joking?

TP: It was a joke, but not much of one. Today I had 47 emails, all but
three or four from contributors to Yesterday I had
fewer than 10.
>> a. we consider a newsgroup with a moderator and a subscribe-only policy,
>? we have a subscribe only policy, and what do we need a moderator

TP: I was talking about a newsgroup along the lines of,
if you're familiar with it. It has a moderator to prevent cross-posting,
spam, and so forth. But that comment may not help, since I feel we're
talking past each other. Maybe it's clearer below.

>> so that we individually each do not receive an exponentially growing number
>> of emails from the Memes. Instead, let us place all the memes into *one*
>> heap, and retrieve them when and if they are interesting. I assume that
>> somebody can arrange the software for doing such a thing.
>You caqn always unsubscribe and just watch the www log of the list.
>Then ones in a while you can post when you re-subscribe.

TP: True, and if everyone did that, you'd have no
listserve. The issue is to handle the increasing popularity of THIS list,
not to eliminate people or send them someplace else.

>But is there such a problem with the numbers? I expect it will slow
>down in a while.
>> b. we distill some of these discussions for Hans-Cees, so he gets stuff
>> for JOM.
>what do you mean?

TP: Just what I said. A number of significant, if not orderly,
discussions have arisen so far, and at least some of them would make good

>There is a newsgroup alt.memetics, you can use it along this list of

TP: True. There are some 7000 or more newsgroups I can use. They do not
solve the question of growing interest in THIS list, and of the increasing
difficulty of keeping the postings straight. In other words, alt.memetics
does not solve the problem.
>> TP
>> This will allow different people to specialize to their heart's content
>> without denying anyone the chance to join in (which, IMO, makes private
>> exchange of emails between participants less than desirable). It will also
>> let people who feel *excluded* from certain threads join others more to
>> their liking.
>let me know if you think there is problem. You can also use
>alt.memetics of course.

TP: I'm not talking about alt. memetics. I am suggesting that a central
archive of contributions TO THIS LIST be kept somewhere, so subscribers can
access it, scan it, download a selected few contributions, and answer
selected postings. As it is, everything is downloaded to everybody, which
is fine provided the numbers don't grow too large. Hans-Cees says that
growth will "slow down in a while." At the moment, however, that cost of
that growth is being passed on to the subscribers, who must save all
incoming material in their own files (I'm pushing a meg of memory so far).
Why not keep the postings in a central place and let subscribers access
what they want?

Alt. memetics has nothing to do with -- nothing at all. I'm talking about
THIS list, not alt.memetics.

I agree, of course, that the simplest way to handle it is to unsubscribe
and trash everything from or to That's like having too
many books, so you burn them all.

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)