Re: JCS: Of memes and witchcraft

Joe E. Dees (
Tue, 25 May 1999 01:47:49 -0500

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From: "Joe E. Dees" <>
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 01:47:49 -0500
Subject: Re: JCS: Of memes and witchcraft

From: "Paul Marsden" <>
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Subject: Re: JCS: Of memes and witchcraft
Date sent: Tue, 25 May 1999 07:29:36 +0200
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> > "The truth in memetics seems to be the simple fact that we human
> > beings are indeed always, to some extent, passive recipients of
> > existing ideas - not because those ideas are parasites infesting us
> > but because we are social animals, closely bound to those around us by
> > familiarity and affection, so that we largely pick up our habits from
> > them." [Mary Midgley, "Of memes and withcraft", jcs-online, 5/20/99]
> Enough already! This statement says more about the author than about
> memetics. Life is not just one damn thing after another, it is one damn
> thing *instead of another*: evolutionary culture theory, or to use the
> neologism memetics, is not only about heredity (one thing after another),
> but also about selection, (and indeed cultural variation). Humans are
> anything but passive recipients of information, we use it selectively.
And choose it selectively, too! We are active seekers and
evaluators, accepters and discarders. We are no less dynamic
than the memestream in which we swim.

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