Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Mario Vaneechoutte (
Tue, 26 May 1998 08:27:30 +0200

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 08:27:30 +0200
From: Mario Vaneechoutte <>
Subject: Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Robert G. Grimes wrote:

Snipped: a lot of interesting remarks

Why would one have "Death Before Dishonor" or "Semper Fidelis," etc.

> tattooed on ones body during a painful procedure leaving an indelible mark
> or design on the body? Why would one pierce their ears, tongues, navels,
> and probably many other things were not the whole thing involved with a
> meme of sorts?
> Immediately, one can see that it is complex. It brings some social
> distinction, is macho, is hip, "feels good," etc. Can one ask for any more
> reasons to propagate a meme? Yes, and they are infinite other than the
> generalization that it is in some manner, "satisfying, stimulating," etc.

Well, if you ask me this goes in the right direction. First, because of the
-mostly overlooked - basic importance of emotions in memetic transmission,
second, because it puts the actor where it should be: the human mind. After
all, it is there that selection between different memes occurs. I think that
one gets better answers when asking: "Why are certain memes preferentially
adopted and spread - replicated by human minds" then when one asks: 'Why do
some memes replicate more successfully than others?" The emotional,
psychological confort brought by memes is a large part of the answer. The
pushing of buttons as suggested by Brodie is not such a bad approach at all. I
defended this approach previously:

Department Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University Hospital
De Pintelaan 185
9000 GENT
Phone: +32 9 240 36 92
Fax: +32 9 240 36 59

J. Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission:

=============================================================== 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) see: