How Memes Work

JD (
Sun, 03 Aug 1997 07:14:44 -0400

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Too bad Extropians never seem to question Dawkins' extreme
reductionism. I have ding donged on this for years, but not lately. So
I will make my assertions again. I present the following as a conscious
hypothesis....too bad Dawkins is not self-aware enough to know his
reductionism is a hypothesis....actually he may be unconsciously
carrying a meme of the currently dominant scientific establishment.

Genes and memes compete primarily via the characteristics they
impart to their respective biological organism and social organims (or
culture). Genes and memes change or evolve for different reasons (we
think). I think the evidence still indicates that genes mutate randomly
under the action of random external factors (or do molecular biologists
have more advanced ideas about this now?). We know first hand, of
course, some of the ways in which memes can mutate. Hosts can invent
new memes and try to spread them! However, only the rich and powerful
segments of a society can make a new meme operational through a whole
culture (hypothesis alert! Begin testing it!).

Establishments, ruling classes, intellectual appendages of warrior
classes, religious authorities, etc. can amplify and broadcast the memes
that they perceive to suit their purposes which usually means memes that
increase or maintain their financial and political power. Contrary to
popular Extropian thought, then, the meme's "attraction" for the host is
less important than the physical resources available for propagating the
new meme.

As an example, if the Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie Foundations, etc.
perceived the Extropian meme set to be in their interests Extropian
memes would, by now, be on their way toward dominating Anglo-American
culture. However, alas, Extropian memes are not so perceived. In fact,
the great State Capitalist dynasties and fortunes are built in large
part on State sponsored, assisted, and regulated oligopoly of natural
resources. (They didn't call the State Department Standard Oil's
foreign office for nothing.) Environmentalist memes serve this power
structure by limiting new competition and holding resources off the
market, ie. raising the prices of natural resources already in
production. I used to have a link to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund site
so folks could prove to themselves what the "big money" propagates in
the way of memes...they won't tell you "why" of need to
use the scientific method for that...

James Daugherty, Internet Postmaster for A-albionic Research (POB 20273,

Ferndale, MI 48220), a ruling class/conspiracy research resource for the

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