Re: Where does Blackmore's Replicator Power Come From?

t (MemeLab@aol.com)
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 18:38:51 EST

From: <MemeLab@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 18:38:51 EST
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Where does Blackmore's Replicator Power Come From?

In a message dated 3/29/99 10:00:31 AM Central Standard Time,
PaulMarsden@msn.com writes:

<< This memetic =E9lan, or
replicator power as Blackmore calls it, is a simple consequence of the
casual logic of natural selection. It is perhaps unfortunate that Blackmo=
re
does not make explicit the mechanism by which memes may legitimately be
understood in terms of replicators, because this leaves the reader and
critic in danger of misunderstanding the whole paradigm and conceptualisi=
ng
culture as some kind of active parasite. >>

Unfortunately that IS how the paradigm has been presented so for. There i=
s no
misunderstanding. Most "memeticists" thus far have been completely guilty=
of
passing off the thought contagion/ mind virus biological metaphor, as a
legitimate cultural concept. The critic of memetics at this point in the =
game
would not be misunderstanding anything. I haven't read Blackmore's book y=
et,
but it sounds to me by what is being said here, that she is simply repeati=
ng
the same mistake - and of course the mistake doesn't repeat itself - peopl=
e
repeat it.

I do like the way you characterize it as the "memetic =E9lan". It is very
reminiscient of older fallacies in the biological sciences. It's interest=
ing
how the pattern is repeated in cultural studies.

-Jake

===============================================================
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit