Re: Darwinian/Neo-Darwinian, and codes (was Memes and Things)

t (Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be)
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 08:33:18 +0100

From: <Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 08:33:18 +0100
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Darwinian/Neo-Darwinian, and codes (was Memes and Things)

Richard Brodie wrote:

> Mario wrote:
>
> <<There are two ways of studying memes. One is asking sociological and
> psychological questions: why is an idea successful, why do humans preferably
> believe one idea over another.>>
>
> And what PACKAGES of ideas -- memeplexes -- social organisms -- viruses of
> the mind -- have the potential for becoming self-replicating and thus
> prevalent?

None, because viruses and ideas do not self replicate. Just like ideas and
behaviours they depend upon the acitivity of replication machinery. All you can
ask is: "Which characteristics do viruses (biological resp. viruses of the mind)
have that cells resp. humans are so eager to replicate them?"

>
>
> << Actually the kind of questions which interest
> me most because of the possibly ethical and social impact (we could become
> 'better' beings by better understanding what is going on in our minds and
> around us).>>
>
> And we could become "wealthy" beings by investing in companies that are
> going to succeed because they are doing good memetics.

Well, when we gain insight in the relationship between our psychology and the
memes populating our society, we might educate our children with the insights in
how memes influence our behaviour, and such companies will no longer be very
successful. Who knows we might stop this crazy tredmill of overconsumption,
reinforced by commercials.

Mario

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