Is science just a matter of faith?
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15-04-2011, 02:16 PM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2011 02:20 PM by Kikko.)
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
(15-04-2011 11:30 AM)Norseman Wrote:  
(15-04-2011 08:03 AM)Kikko Wrote:  Btw2, is there any great book that would sort of summarize the pros and (the possible) cons of looking at culture from the point of view of replicating memes? Or a book like ''The Selfish Meme''.Smile

Not that I know of. That would have to be The Selfish Gene. I think I remember you mentioning that you have read it, so you know what I'm talking about. I think memetics is a good theory in one way, and not so good in another way. I think it's great at explaining what it is meant to explain and I can't seem to find any flaw with it myself. On the other hand good theories are supposed to make predictions and I can't see what predictions it makes other than "things will change". Undecided

I've read it, and repeated the meme chapter last week, but found it a bit unsatisfying. I haven't infered any flaws in looking at culture from the point of view of memes, but I'm not really sure if it's the best way of loking at culture evolution. It's so chaotic: memes come and go, their mutation rate is very high and most memes have a very short life.
A book called ''Evolution and Human Nature'' had a chapter where they had critique of Dawkins' meme view, but I've lost it (paid myslf sick for that book:dodgySmile. The library knows nothing about memes(although it's full of themSmile), but it would be great to have something that I wouldn't have to read from a computer screen.
I want more concrete examples and explaining about the interesting subject.
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Quote:There is, I am reading it right now. Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine You might as well call it 'the selfish meme' .
Great book if you are interested in memetics. (how's not? Big Grin )
Found it for under 7€. I accidentally all my money, but I should have some savings hidden somewhere. Thänks.Smile

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15-04-2011, 04:05 PM
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
And of course you can not get The Meme Machine for Kindle! should have guessed! Angry

I don't agree with you Kikko. You are right in one way. Most memes do have a very high mutation rate. But some don't! Just like we have differences in gene longevity we have differences in meme longevity. Just think about the different religious memes. I don't think you need me to give you the examples.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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16-04-2011, 05:41 AM
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
You're right about the longevity of memes.
Now that it's day again and I can use a bit more of my brain capacity, I can infer a little more brightly. It doesn't really matter if a meme doesn't have a significant effect on anything, it's still a meme, like in Dawkin's example of a gene that would give an organism slightly larger feet, therefore leaving bigger footprints, doesn't have any significant effect on anything (unless there are some organisms that use the footprints in the area [like triops]), but it would still be an extended phenotypic expression. Therefore it's not useful to even talk of memes that just come and go, attention should only be concentrated on the memes that have a significant effect, the other memes can be disregarded when talking about cultural evolution.

Here's an example why I need a book to explain memes to me: I can't infer how memetics explains, say, language change. Let's take the changing of words: someone in the population slightly miscopies the word, and no-one in the population corrects him/her, and somehow the new slightly different word replaces the old word: the new meme outnumbers the old meme. How did ''I am'' separate into 2 different versions used in different areas, ''mää ole'' and ''moon''? What 'advantage' did these memes have over the original version of ''I am''? Trying to infer this myself is like trying to infer gene selectionism without reading books about it.

I hope I don't sound too crazy or stupid. Tongue I'm just overexcited, although friday's over already. I'll get back to the topic after reading the book and it's possible critique.
[Image: inmemeshowdotheywork.jpg]

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16-04-2011, 11:26 AM
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
Please do. I suggest you start a meme- hread once you have read the book. It's a damn shame I can't get it for Kindle.

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17-04-2011, 05:46 AM
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
"How did ''I am'' separate into 2 different versions used in different areas, ''mää ole'' and ''moon''? What 'advantage' did these memes have over the original version of ''I am''?"

There don't even have to be an advantage always. The separation of the two words occurred because a group of people separated from each other. Each individual learned the word from his parents, by imitating and this imitating was not absolutely accurate. Even thought one's "I am" and one's parents' "I am" was almost indistinguishable, over many generations the differences added up and a new word emerged. The point is that none of the versions of the words had any advantage over the others, so there was no selection just mutations 'freely' cumulating. If we want an analogy with biological evolution we could say this: A gene that's phenotypical effect does not influence it's survival efficiency (even thought I don't think such a gene could exist) could variate freely while not having any effect on anything.
Spreading of certain variations of the words could be helped other ways too. For example a very influential leader could pick on a word and propagate it subconsciously.
I haven't met with a theory of language in the Meme Machine, it's just my guess after 4 chapters.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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21-04-2011, 08:42 AM
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
Ah, that starts to make sense. First I thought that the time that it takes for words to change would be too short for small mimicing errors to cumulate and spread, but then I remembered that the words that change in a short amount of time usually change because of interacting with other languages/dialects. I also thought how these small errors would spread in the population-> the errors would mostly happen to children, and because they spend alot of time with each others, the copying error could spread in the generation, outnumbering the old spelling in a generation or two, and in that way the errors could cumulate when generations come and go.

Ordered the Meme Machine last weekend, it should arrive next week. Smile

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22-04-2011, 08:25 PM
 
RE: Is science just a matter of faith?
The original topic of this thread is the most ridiculous question I've heard in a great while, and responding to it makes even less sense than the asking of it.
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