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

Robin Faichney (robin@faichney.demon.co.uk)
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 08:22:48 +0100

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 08:22:48 +0100
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
From: Robin Faichney <robin@faichney.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Where does Blackmore's Replicator Power Come From?
In-Reply-To: <b55d4efd.37000f0b@aol.com>

In message <b55d4efd.37000f0b@aol.com>, MemeLab@aol.com writes
>In a message dated 3/29/99 10:00:31 AM Central Standard Time,
>PaulMarsden@msn.com writes:
>
><< This memetic Úlan, or
> replicator power as Blackmore calls it, is a simple consequence of the
> casual logic of natural selection. It is perhaps unfortunate that Blackmore
> 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 conceptualising
> culture as some kind of active parasite. >>
>
>Unfortunately that IS how the paradigm has been presented so for. There is 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 yet,
>but it sounds to me by what is being said here, that she is simply repeating
>the same mistake - and of course the mistake doesn't repeat itself - people
>repeat it.
>
>I do like the way you characterize it as the "memetic Úlan". It is very
>reminiscient of older fallacies in the biological sciences. It's interesting
>how the pattern is repeated in cultural studies.

Isn't it rather those who claim information is "too passive to
replicate" who are making that particular mistake? What does
"active" mean in this context but "has the life force", and
"passive" if not "lacks life force"?

-- 
Robin Faichney

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