Re: Memetics or artefactics?

Bill Benzon (
Wed, 9 Sep 1998 06:50:32 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 06:50:32 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Memetics or artefactics?

At 10:31 AM 9/9/98 +0200, Mario Vaneechoutte wrote:

>As I tried to explain. When we want to pursue some analogy between culture and
>biology, which is one of the hallmarks of memetics (isn't it?), we can ask
>cultural phenomenon resembles most the physical gene, with respect to having
>informational content, being replicable by a processor, having high copy
>fidelity, etc. I'd say it is written, printed, electronic texts, ... In a sense
>this would better be named a meme and not the attitudes, thoughts, beliefs or
>cultural artefacts like pottery.

But why place pottery with thoughts etc. rather than with written texts?
Pottery gets reproduced with high fidelity, etc.

And what's the cultural parallel to the phenotype and the processes which
determines whether the phenotype survives or dies? In my view, and it'w
what I've argued in my articles, this is what happens in the mind/brain.
An artifact etc. survives according to whether or not it allows/helps the
mind/brain pursue its ends. It seems to me that memetics has devoted
enormous attention to replication of memes, but not much to figuring out
why cultural traits survive.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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