Re: applied memetics (ignore last)

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 03 Sep 1998 11:21:13 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 1998 11:21:13 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: applied memetics (ignore last)
In-Reply-To: <>

At 09:44 AM 9/3/98 -0600, Mark Mills wrote:
>>Interesting story, Jane. A business such as that could still be prosecuted
>>for fraud in the U.S
>I think scam artists will always be worthy of memetic study. Their
>processes have no merit, but 'survive' via continuous mutation. Such
>behavior is clearly of memetic interest and there is generally no
>difficulty maintaining objective distance.
>It is a bit more difficult to gain objective distance from 'speed
>seduction.' Some of the reasonable minds here are interested in how Mr.
>Jeffries' neural mechanics relate to memetics. Thus, it is more
>difficult to maintain objective distance.
>Regardless, Mr. Jeffries' efforts end up being interesting memetics. If
>he is a scam artist, he is a modern mutation of a long line of 'sex aid'
>scams. If his NLP practices offer insight into neural processes, his
>work has direct implications on memetics.

I agree that neurological processes have implications for memetics, and
that scams are valid subjects of memetic study. With Ross Jeffries and
Richard Brodie, we have a case of two people promoting each other's
products. This may, to say the least, make it more difficult for them to
maintain objectivity. To critically thinking outsiders, such an arrangement
can give the impression of memetics as a scam. Or it may look like the
scientists who are in bed with the tobacco companies.

I think that Richard's objectivity comes much less into question on such
matters as fast cash email scams. He seems to have no mutual endorsements
from the authors of such scams, and even warns against them.

>If there is a problem, it is probably the differing boundaries writers
>here apply to the memetic domain. Again, such differences seem an
>appropriate topic of conversation.
>I wonder if the energy released by this discussion isn't exposing
>something of a fault line between two memetic interest groups. On one
>hand, there are those interested building memetics from an understanding
>of neural function (building from the synapse up). On the other, there
>are those interested in aggregate social behavior (building from cultural
>expression down). Each potentially discounts the relevance of the
>other's interests since their focus is so different. Bruce Edmonds'
>recent paper examines this issue.

Interesting observation, Mark.

--Aaron Lynch

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