Re: What's in a Meme? Reprise and paper - comments welcome

Ton Maas (
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 14:00:10 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102804aff265f83f85@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 14:00:10 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: What's in a Meme? Reprise and paper - comments welcome

>Aaron Lynch responding to Jonh wilkins:
>The evolution by natural selection of memes is central to my whole
>argument. But the reality of selection is not asserted within the
>definition. Nor do I assert that any one metaphor, such as to genes,
>computer viruses, bacteria, etc is preferred--they all have their strengths
>and weaknesses.

I wonder how this notion of the "natural selection of memes" relates to
Bateson's notion of the "information ecology". "Cultural selection" would
seem to pose less problems, but "natural selection", with its obvious
reference to biological evolution, has a "strictness" (extinction usually
being final) that few memetic processes (if any) can match. As I see it,
"natural selection" is used here as much as a metaphor as any of the others
mentioned above. What then are its strengths and weaknesses?


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