Re: Significance of memetics

Lloyd Robertson (
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 13:50:27 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 13:50:27 -0600
From: Lloyd Robertson <>
Subject: Re: Significance of memetics
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SOL.3.96.981130025523.12942K-100000@rocky-gw.oswego.e

Thank you Rob, now help me to understand, better, what you are driving at ...

>However my conception of a group mind is not a simplistic transfer of a
>dogma, as exemplified in cults and other fanaticism. I believe that these
>are studied as case examples by memeticists because they directly
>demonstrate the principles we are looking for.

Okay, a cult may be defined as a system of mind control that implies at
least a mental (if not necessarily physical) form of bullying. Are you
saying that "group mind" would involve a shared, egalitarian, consensus? If
so I would imagine that there would be considerable psychic pressure to
conform to that consensus. And if there is this pressure to conform to
group mind norms, then are we not on the edge of a slippery slope at the
bottom of which is cultism?

Group mind involves more
>complex types of symbolic interactions that humans, interacting in small
>groups, biologically evolved-- not in competition but in intelligent sex
>selection. Because these biologically evolved cognitive mechanisms that
>allow for these forms of complex memetic evolution have not yet been
>mapped out, memetics in these areas probably won't proceed soon.

You have lost me here. Please give examples of the complex types of
symbolic interactions that you have in mind. Biologically evolved compared
to.....? What does "intelligent sex selection" have to do with a lack of

The shamanic caste, in this view, is the
>persistence of a mode of thought that was more prevalent in the
>cognitively interdependent groupminds that happened in hunter-gather days.

I thought that the role of the shaman was, generally, to ward off evil,
ensure good fortune, cure sickness and preserve the tribal culture. Modern
shamans whom I know personally do not seem to demonstrate "cogitive
interdependence" with their community but tend to be more like a priest
leading their flock.

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