RE: The Significance of Memetics is ...

Aaron Lynch (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 11:37:27 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 11:37:27 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: RE: The Significance of Memetics is ...
In-Reply-To: <000001be1593$ee8f5820$e8293fce@uymfdlvk>

At 01:14 PM 11/21/98 -0800, Richard Brodie wrote:
>Rob Levy wrote:
><<Can anyone here state an important insight or even an accurate prediction
>that has come from using the memetics paradigm? >>
>1. Self-replicating businesses such as multi-level marketing will take on
>increasingly greater importance. (Predicted in my 1995 book)
>2. Truth will not automatically win out over well-packaged falsehoods.
>3. It is unremarkable to see the simultaneous invention of "original" ideas
>by multiple people in multiple locations (e.g. Newton and Leibnitz inventing
>the Calculus simultaneously or Dawkins and myself coming up with the term
>"Virus of the Mind" simultaneously -- not to imply a similar importance to
>the two of course).


Regarding point 1, your 1995 book is the main source I know of. Point 2
arises in numerous memetics sources.

But you don't give a source for point 3. One source is my own paper
_Thought Contagion as Abstract Evolution_, Journal of Ideas 2, #1, 1991.
It's on the last page of the article online at, as well as the paper reprint I
sent you in 1994. It was also in the chapters of _Abstract Evolution_ that
I sent to Douglas Hofstadter, Richard Dawkins, and others in 1984--before
that book was canceled for being too technical. (It's covered in my 1998
JoM-EMIT paper, too.) Naturally, I am curious if you or anyone else on this
list knows of a simultaneous invention of this particular quantitative
explanation of temporally clustered creativity.

--Aaron Lynch

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