All entries for Wednesday 29 November 2006

November 29, 2006

Memetics experiment

Writing about web page http://acephalous.typepad.com/acephalous/2006/11/measuring_the_s.html

In the name of science, I have to link to this cool applied memetics experiment – and you should too. Oh yes. Why? Because it’s interesting, and you’re an interesting person. People will like you if you write about interesting things.

Memetics is, roughly speaking, genetics (and evolutionary principles) applied to ideas – as a theory, it models ‘culture’, which includes art, music, text, religion, advertising… it’s very broad. Not everyone likes it – but arguably it has some explanatory power. The memetics meme has spread quite far, but I’d hazard a guess that most people using the term ‘meme’ don’t really understand memetics.

The genetics analogy isn’t as strict as all that, because you also have horizontal propagation… and possibly Lamarckian inheritance. That isn’t a fatal flaw. Susan Blackmore’s book, The Meme Machine, is an excellent text on the subject.

So anyway, read the link, and please then blog your opinions of it, sending a Technorati ping. (And if you think it’s all rubbish, you can blog that too, and it still counts as spreading the meme. Or the anti-meme? Such is the joy of memetics.)


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From 20th August 2007, this blog is no longer being updated. For something more recent, please visit Tim Retout’s website.

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