'memetic engineering'

t (christopher_l._turner@hud.gov)
Tue, 24 Mar 98 16:00:32 -0500

From: <christopher_l._turner@hud.gov>
Message-Id: <9803248907.AA890772910@hudsmtphq.hud.gov>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 98 16:00:32 -0500
To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
Subject: 'memetic engineering'

Josip Pajk wrote:
>>>>What are we talking about here?
Is "Memetic engineering" possible? The question should be: "Do we
actually need it?"<<<<

We 'engineer' our memes already. As a (world/human) society, we just
do it in a very 'unsystematic' (and likewise 'unintelligent'?) way.

>>>>Is it really the main reason for the existence of memetics? If the
evolution of memetics should bring us to the "cloning" point where
genetic engineering brought us today, it is better to give up now and
not to spend precious time and scientific "gray matter" on this issue
anymore. Why?<<<<<

Our memes direct our behavior. The world we occupy is comprised of
our behavior.

>>>>> We humans have to be aware of the fact that there are things we
can not control. Control means that there is a goal, a point where the
controller "wants" to bring the state of the process it controls. Who
is the controller, and what would be the goal of (memetic and genetic)
engineering? Are we attempting to play the Gods role here? Is it not
in fact the eternal struggle between the father and the son? The son
is growing and thinks that he could do "better" than the father. <<<<<

Again, we have been 'engineering' our own memes all along. But we
have been doing it on a largely 'unwitting' basis thus far.

>>>>>How will evolution bring forward in such "controlled"
environment? <<<<<

'The scientific method' is perhaps our best controlled, as well as
most evolutionarily powerful meme. Its 'evolution' is consciously
(intelligently) self-directed.

>>>>>Until now it was doing well without our intervention.<<<<

It has? We've 'intervened' all right. It's been 'us' all along. Just
not in a very 'scientifically enlightened' way.

>>> Can we limit ourselves in the use of memetics, genetics and other
sciences only to UNDERSTAND what is going on here, without succumbing
to the temptation of CHANGING everything? <<<<<

And what would be the point of that?

>>>>> Look what we have done with our air, water, animals, plants. Is
it not enough? <<<<<

Like I said: 'unsystematic'.

>>>> We have to much work to do to preserve our environment because at
the point when we will struggle for the last few drops of water, no
memetics engineering will help to preserve our society. <<<<<

I think its the _only_ thing, in the long (and possibly short) run,
that will 'save' us as a species.

Chris Turner

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