Re: Machiavellian Memes

Ton Maas (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 13:12:44 +0200

Message-Id: <v0310280cb053eaec5b96@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 13:12:44 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Machiavellian Memes

> Ken McE Comments:
> In nature there are no known cases where a species continues to grow
>and expand without limit. If there were such a creature we would all be
>standing knee deep in piles of them.

As I have argued earlier, this is precisely one of the most fundamental
shortcomings of the meme/gene analogy. In terms of
spreading/multiplying/mutation the analogy works fine, but the extremely
stringent conservation mechanisms which govern genetic reproduction, are
notably absent in the realm of memes. To explain such phenomena, we seem
"doomed" to rely on more traditional theories of social interaction and

Ton Maas

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)