Re: The Replicators or the Replicated

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:04:57 +0100

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 19:04:57 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <>
Subject: Re: The Replicators or the Replicated
In-Reply-To: <>

In message <>, writes
>Much of the debate centred around memetics seems to me to be induced by the
>wider implications of universal Darwinism which the new(ish) theory
>highlights. When we begin to think of the replicate as pure information, we
>have difficulty defining a universal replicator. We start looking for the
>ultimate cause, the end to the chain of causality.

That's right -- in "hot pursuit" of the meme, we are very liable to find
ourselves up to the nostrils in some rather deep issues.

>To prevent this confusion we must clearly define the boundaries of memetics,
>as opposed to universal Darwinism. Memes are not any old replicated
>information, they are the replicates which are replicated by the mind.

Now define "the mind"!

> In
>trying to define a meme, some people have concentrated on the type of
>information. IMHO this is a confusing perspective. We should define memes
>in terms of the vehicle (symbolic representation i.e. language) used to
>transmit the information, by the replicator (the mind). Although memetic
>selection may be independant of the genetic selection the driving force
>behind memetic replication is an original genetic predisposition to imitation.
>My observations of the postings on this list have made me realise that in
>order to adopt a memetic perspective I must not only define meme but also a
>whole load of other stuff, such as information, vehicle, replicate,
>replicator, artefact etc etc I'm still working on it........

I'm working on this too: starting with the relationship between
information and matter, and building up from there. I have quite a lot
of ideas already, but I hesitate to initiate a discussion here, because
it starts at some distance from memetics, and so might be judged off
topic. But if no-one objects, I might try a brief message to test the

Robin Faichney

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