Re: Machiavellian Memes

Ton Maas (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:35:53 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102810b05508837043@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:35:53 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Machiavellian Memes

>On Sun, 28 Sep 1997, Ton Maas wrote:
>> 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.
>Isn't the number of "host minds" limited? And the number of memes that
>can effectively occupy a single mind likewise a limited resource?

I wasn't implying there are no limitations, but most of those seems to be
of the statistical "persuasion". What I was trying to convey, is that in
comparison to the process of biological reproduction (which is
predominantly conservation-oriented) the replication of memes seems rather
unrestricted, allowing for a great deal of innovative "craziness". There
seems hardly an analogy for the "funnels" of gamete-matching and
embryology in the realm of memetics.

Ton Maas

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