A Drosophila for cultural evolution

Bill Benzon (bbenzon@mindspring.com)
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 10:40:02 -0500

Message-Id: <199706221436.KAA27040@brickbat8.mindspring.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 1997 10:40:02 -0500
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
From: bbenzon@mindspring.com (Bill Benzon)
Subject: A Drosophila for cultural evolution

_Science_ for 6 June 1997 has a review of _Kasparov versus Deep Blue_ by
one Monty Newborn. The review is written by John McCarthy, creator of the
LISP programming language and one of the founding fathers of artificial
intelligence. The review contains the following paragraph, which I find
rather charming:

"In 1965 the Russian matehmatician Alexander Kronrod said, 'Chess is the
Drosophila of artificial intelligence.' However, computer chess has
developed as genetics might have if the geneticists had concentrated their
breeding efforts starting in 1910 on breeding racing Drosophila. We would
have some science, but mainly we would have very fast fruit flies."

What can serve as a Drosophila for the study of cultural evolution? I'm
afraid that if "orthodox memetics" gets to make that choice we'll end up
with lots of dazed and confused fruit flies.

Of course, I take no responsibility for the above remarks. The memes made
me transmit them.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A bbenzon@mindspring.com
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA http://www.newsavanna.com/wlb/

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