Re: Genes versus Memes

Fri, 11 Feb 1994 11:41:04 -0500

>> Clearly just as genes and organisms are codependent, so are memes and
>> cultures. Some organisms will spread certain genes more rapidly than
>> others. Some cultures will spread certain memes more rapidly than others.
>Could this refer, for example, to cultures that promote missionaries?

"Missionaries" loosely defined, of course. I would prefer the term
"propagandists," "rhetoricians," or "proseltyzers," to those who are
engaged in the spreading of memes...

>> 1). The rate of genetic replication is based on the "reproductive fitness"
>> (how many offspring with the gene survive long-term) of the organism.
>> 2). The rate of memetic replication is based on: 1. The communication
>> infrastructure the organisms has access to... 2. The inherent replication
>factor in the memetic system. Proselytizing memetic systems will spread
>more rapidly than non-proselytizing ones which rely only on imitation or
>'conversion.' 3. How well the meme is able to adapt to new 'system environments' (cultures.)
>> 3) Memes can now be spread by non-organisms. Artificial Intelligences can
>> easily do so, and have done so on the Net on numerous occasions.
>This theory seems to fit well for religions (especially the spread of
>Christianity), but it could also refer to technological innovations.
>Technological information flows in similar ways from culture to culture,
>with people accepting/declining information that doesn't "fit in" with
>their other cultural beliefs or doesn't work as well in their environments
>(i.e. appropriate technology).
>Stephanie Wilson

Yes, "technological innovations" are memes also. Memes can be beliefs of
any kind, including propositions regarding the best way to solve a
technological problem. Memetics applies to all kinds of belief systems, not
just religions.

Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
Anthropologist, Cybernaut, PoMoDemite, Noetician, Situationiste, et al.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Cosmic Nexus of the Universal Matrix
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!" --Malaclypse the Younger