Re: HEA report on religion and mental health

Bill Spight (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 08:01:54 -0700

Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 08:01:54 -0700
From: Bill Spight <>
Subject: Re: HEA report on religion and mental health

Dear Nick and Derek,

Basically, the only way I see vertical transmission
regaining it's dominance as the vector for cultural
practices is if civilisation collapses and we lose the
telecommunication infra-structure (Cloak would say
M-Culture) which has allowed horizontal transmission to
take off.

Fair enough, but that would apply to new memes. We still have some
hundredsof thousands of years of old memetic baggage travelling down the
vertical route. That stuff won't be so easily subverted, (especially if
it's adaptive).


I doubt if vertical memetic transmission has lost its dominance, despite
modern communications and media. Certainly, more memes that are new to
us are coming our way than our ancestors encountered. But that does not
mean that they are transmitted.

Transmission depends in large part on compatibility with currently
adopted memes. (I like 'adoption' better than 'infection', don't you?
;-)) And we acquire our original memes, in terms of which we screen
candidate memes, through vertical transmission in childhood. That's when
we adopt memes willy-nilly. Later we get critical.

Best regards,

Bill "Adopt a meme today" Spight

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