memetic engineering and superstition

t (levy@Oswego.EDU)
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 16:02:22 -0500 (EST)

From: <levy@Oswego.EDU>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 16:02:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: memetic engineering and superstition
In-Reply-To: <>

The pasted letter below makes many appeals to memes, but in doing so Joe
misses the point entirely. We memeticists seek to liberate society from
blind cultural evolution. The fact is that Joe promotes "natural"
evolution which is a euphemism for "Killing degenerates" and "Depriving
degenerates of sex". This is how we evolved consciousness: through
disorganized hunter-gather age homicides (as well as accidental death),
and in the organized sex heirarchies of agricultural society. Of course
Joe (as far as I know) does not support these horrid things, but the
Garden of Eden scenario of "the natural world" is a fantasy. It didn't
happen-- wake up! Folk ecology is also tainted by the unscientific, and
true ecology has more to do with technological applications than politics
(which is a game based on guilt-laying). Politics at best functions to
keep ecological research going and to encourage implementation.

Decision making based on innate appeal of memes is what we applied
memeticists wish to dismantle. The key is education on the structure of
consciousness. Education that is based on the relation between the
memetic structures at play. The memetic structure of education adapts to
the memetic structure of individuals's consciousnesses. This is a perfect
example of memetic engineering. By actually understanding people and
understanding institutions we improve them.

I agree with reitteration on the fact that _We are already practicing
Memetic Engineering_ and that science science allows us to improve our
institiutions and implement our humanitarian goals. To say that
UNDERSTANDING without CHANGE is noble or humanitarian is ABSURD. Some
destruction of our environment was a side-effect of defective memetic
structures, but Science slowly corrects this debt through research not
only in unintrusive methods of production, but in research on how
technology can be valuably synthesized with nature. Memetic engineering
is important because it allows for analysis of existing instutions and may
finally provide a scientific backing for changing them. In a world with a
perfected sociology that is integrated with meta-ethical considerations
and expanded communications, intelligent self-organization will be

As a scientific optimist and futurist I point out that this may be seeds
of conscious evolution and global cooperation-- the birth of "God" (who
would probably be a Taoist<g>)-- a world not centralized, apparently
unstructured, yet functioning as a level of the ecosystem. This is
speculative of course. Chaos theory and the study of dynamical systems
applied to memetics and the natural world may be a great help in reifying
these speculations.

> From: Josip Pajk <> 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. How will evolution bring forward in such
> "controlled" environment? Until now it was doing well without our
> intervention. 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? Look what we have
> done with our air, water, animals, plants. Is it not enough? 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.
> Josip Pajk

"The universe has a habit of deleting anachronisms."
-P K Dick

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)