Sunday, May 29, 2005

Thoughts at 5:30 AM (Or a gene, a meme and a *logicalnextstep* walk into a bar) ...

paul evan hughes, of Future Hi and silverthought, believes that three supermemes have been fighting for human mindshare over the course of recorded human history. You can probably guess what they are (although I have my suspicions as to why he left out science): Christianity, Islam and ... Judaism?!

When biological life began, the gene was born. Slow and non-lamarkian but effective enough in the absense of competition. This state of affairs was maintained until some bright spark figured out language.

That was not the birth of the meme. It was simply the time when the meme grew legs.

With language came the possibility of acquiring knowledge and passing it on and adding to it and passing it and so on. But still, our storage methods were inefficient; mnemonics, fragile papyrus, undersized stone tablets; Darwin was still having his way with us. Information can die too. To paraphrase Manfred Macx, we live in a lossy medium.


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