Memetics and Cultural Evolution

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Memetics and Cultural Evolution

A group for people interested in the study of memes, viral ideas, and cultural evolution.

A meme is any unit of shared cultural information.

Memetics is the study of the propagation of this information.

Members: 77
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

Memes, Genes And Religious Beliefs - Richard Dawkins @ UC Berkeley

Discussion Forum

Memetics going mainstream

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 18, 2013. 0 Replies

In Why America & China's Future Plans Are Totally Nuts, James Howard Kunstler refers to…Continue

Tags: memes

Word frequency reflects liking

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Feb 14, 2013. 1 Reply

Many Atheists continue to talk about theism for decades after they've stopped buying into the spooks. My position ,that it's better develop a theism-meme free world is often incomprehensible to some.…Continue

Tags: word use implies liking

Video on Religion as virus

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Feb 2, 2013. 2 Replies

Continue

Tags: virus mutation, religion, memetics

Review of The Mocking Memes

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Jan 29, 2013. 1 Reply

Tim Tyler reviews The Mocking MemesThe Mocking Memes:A Basis for Automated…Continue

Tags: The Mocking Memes

Bullying still attractive in leaders *yuck!*

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Dec 20, 2012. 1 Reply

For Power and Status, Dominance and Skill Trump LikabilityYou'd think we'd advanced culturally in selecting…Continue

Tags: prestige, leadership, bullying, intimidation

Submit climate crisis memes

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 17, 2012. 3 Replies

What’s Your Meme? Changing the Climate Change ConversationMemetics is…Continue

Tags: climatememe

Comment Wall

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Comment by Фелч Гроган on April 13, 2009 at 8:16am
One can never underestimate the damage that can be caused by out of control memes. Author Warren Ellis has found out the hard way. What started off innocently enough as a piece of literary gross out comic relief in his post-punk novella targeting the apocalypse culture set, has spun out of control. A group of Brazilian fanboys have spawned a website, created transparent graphic templates, even have a dedicated mailbox to collate memetic mutations - one really wonders where this will end. This lunacy has got to stop.

Comment by A Former Member on April 12, 2009 at 10:12pm
Yeah, I also hate Branjolina, J-Lo, and other name combinations/abbreviations like that that the media has created in the past few years. Just awful and obnoxious. I don't mind some creativity though. For example, Obama has been used for a lot of combinded words lately, like ObamaNation, or combined with various others suffixes that I cannot recall at the present moment. That does not bother me as much.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on April 12, 2009 at 10:06pm
I know what you mean. I hate majik, kwik, and other on purpose misspellings. Bad memes. Shows the power of Madison Avenue and the weakness of brainwashed consumers.
Comment by A Former Member on April 12, 2009 at 9:48pm
@Richard: This is interesting. I wish I had more time to read. The reason I brought up language is because I have a moderate interest in language, etymology, and the cultural evolution of language. I really hate the period we are in now, in many respects. For example, I intensely dislike the spelling of kewl for cool, and I hate the noun foodie, and the verb antiquing.
Comment by Richard Goscicki on April 12, 2009 at 9:17pm
Dallas, this forum is getting interesting. Remember the statement, humans are machines that memes have programmed and not created. Subtle difference.

Blackmore talks about language at lenght, about language being one of the most important memetic drivers of genes. The memes hop on the backs of genes and determine who gets selected.

Take the "make a spear" meme of Homo habilis. Members that learned to copy this meme had an advantage even over the big and strong. Same goes for language learning.

The point is: memes aided natural selection and became part of it, just as genes.
Comment by A Former Member on April 12, 2009 at 8:51pm
@Richard: It's funny you should provide this: To sum up The Meme Machine, "humans are machines that memes have programmed to get them from one generation to the next."

When I was in college, I theorized or pondered (just for fun) the idea that desires where the true life forms, and that they created us -- or physical bodies -- for the sole purpose of providing a vehicle to their own fullfillment.

Hey guys, does language fall into the meme catagory as well? It seems to me like it would.
Comment by George on April 12, 2009 at 2:19pm
I've just posted a link above to a lecture by Susan Blackmore about the future of memes. Very good introduction.
Comment by Daniel W on April 12, 2009 at 10:51am
I'm envisioning the early scene in "2001 - A Space Odyssey" with the homonids and the rectangular monolith. Now I understand - this was transmission of the first meme (in this case, use of tools). The monolith was a memolith.

I can't get the embed function to work this morning, but here is the link:

Opening sceen 2001 A Space Odyssey
Comment by Richard Goscicki on April 12, 2009 at 9:52am
I offer this on a "food for thought" basis. To sum up The Selfish Gene, "all animals and plants are machines that genes have programmed to get them from one generation to the next."

To sum up The Meme Machine, "humans are machines that memes have programmed to get them from one generation to the next."

I always liked the definition of humanity, "Peculiar apes infested by meme complexes."

Once we understand what we are, humanity can evolve out of the Dark Ages.
Comment by Mac Rex on April 11, 2009 at 7:42pm
"Mirror Reversal"? I don't think I've heard of that one. Consider it on my list!:}
 

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