Brights discussion

On the subject of memes

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message 1: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (vanessaschlais) | 3 comments Mod
Anyone have resource suggestions (links, books, persons, etc.) or views on the topic of memes?

If you aren't familiar or want a starting point on the topic, Wikipedia's entry is useful:

TED's site has piles of videos that are also very interesting to watch on related topics. I strongly suggest watching them!

Here's a cool video of Dan Dennett speaking on the topic.

message 2: by Ellee (new)

Ellee (faustess) I'll send you some articles too. Hope these book suggestions are useful. Some may be & some are probably not. Also, the UCLA library is open to the public if you need more academic resources.

message 3: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (vanessaschlais) | 3 comments Mod
Thanks Elf. :)

Have you read/researched much on the subject yourself?

message 4: by Ellee (new)

Ellee (faustess) Truthfully, nope. :) I think Randy read an article about it awhile ago and we talked a little about it then, but nothing formal.


message 5: by Jonas (new)

Jonas | 1 comments We had to read some of Susan Blackmore's articles in college if I remember. My general memory of it is that the concept is good because it conveys the ability of cultures to pass along and develop ideas. The general interests and tastes of a culture do get generalized and passed on as somewhat discreet, sometimes contradictory, units and a genetic model is good to represent the culture as a life-form.

The problem is that on some level the analogy kind of breaks down when the theorists (like Blackmore) try to expand it to a larger explanation. There aren't the same kind of evolutionary pressures that affected genetic evolution and also. With the excessive amounts of information movement in our culture developing lots of memes, there doesn't seem to be an actual fight for superior memes that help us deal with the world...

Vee, of anyone, should appreciate the Wittgenstein argument in Wikipedia's article, but I really like the concept and the discussion of how the interworking of those memes could be used to show a cultural map. And I really like the discussion of how far you can push the concept of genetic transmission of cultural ideas.

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