Re: Adventure Memes/Duration Memes

Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 03 Jun 1998 13:27:47 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 13:27:47 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: Adventure Memes/Duration Memes
In-Reply-To: <00cd01bd8ede$d57461a0$2a70cacc@lil--elvis>

>Aaron Lynch writes:
>>For mathematical models, what we really need are unified theories that do
>>not care whether a meme is epidemic, endemic, or in between these
>>conditions. Building memetic equations directly from memetic event rate
>>parameters rather than by attempting to identify isomorphisms to work done
>>for other infectious agents strikes me as the surest path to take, since
>>this work is required in demonstrating an isomorphism anyway.
>Won't these rates be dependent upon the interconnectedness and relative
>structure of the socal fabric through which a meme spreads?
>And, could not the same meme travel through a target population at two
>entirely different rates, were they to do so using just two different social
>structures out the several present in that given population? Is this a
>random element thrown into the equations? Or not?
>Further, if this is the case, would this not also confer an advantage upon
>meme-complexes which, in part, re-order the socal stucture into a better
>vehicle for the spread of memes with a similar nature to their own?


Re-ordering does happen, but I do not pretend to offer any simple way to
express it in terms of just endemic versus epidemic status. Endemic Islam
seems to re-order the social structure a lot more than endemic astrology,
for instance.

As I have stated in my paper, the equations I gave are idealizations of
just the two-meme system. A really ambitious modeling project (taking
account of social structures, etc.) should be prepared to encounter a level
of mathematical and computational complexity that rivals modern models of
terrestrial weather. Even then, it will have its limitations.

Lynch, A. (1998). Units, Events and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution. Journal
of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 2.

--Aaron Lynch

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