Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Karthik Swaminathan (
Tue, 26 May 1998 22:31:27 -0400

Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 22:31:27 -0400
From: Karthik Swaminathan <>
Subject: Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Mario Vaneechoutte wrote:

> 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:

There is no question that emotions play a big part in memetic selection. I always
felt that this is quite obviouse. I agree that alertion of danger, sex and food
are big drives in human emotion. My biggest problem with Brodies book is that the
Trojan Horses that he himself sneaks in takes precedence over any talk of
Memetics which was my main purpose for buying the book. He could have written
another book on the School system and the Constitution and stayed focused on the
topic. I wished there was more on "pushing buttons" and less pushing buttons.

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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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