Åm, Onar "Critique and Defense
of Memesis" Memesis Symposium (1996): "As of today memetics
is very far from fulfilling the requirements of a science. But I think
it is just a matter of time before most of these problems have been resolved."
Bilk, Mark S. "Dominator
Culture" alt.memetics resources (1995): The model for modern
civilization "is a mind-virus... No one is given the choice to
be infected - it has gone on from generation to generation, automatically,
for at least five millennia."
Bjarneskans, H., Grønnevik, B. & Sandberg, A.
of Memes" Transhumanist Resources: "To survive in a context
the memes must meet certain conditions. We abstract a model of these conditions
and use it to analyse three well-known memes: the 'Killroy was here' graffiti,
urban legends and Christianity."
Blackmore, Susan "Memes, Minds and Selves"
About Biology seminar (1996): "I would say that selves are co-adapted
meme complexes... Like religions, political belief systems and cults,
they are safe havens for all sorts of travelling memes and they are protected
from destruction by various meme-tricks."
Blackmore, Susan "The Power of the Meme Meme"
Skeptic (1997): "Without the theory of evolution by memetic selection
nothing in the world of the mind makes much sense... Without memetics
you can only fall back on appeals to an imaginary conscious agent."
Blackmore, Susan "Waking from the Meme Dream"
Int. Conf. on Buddhism, Science & Psychotherapy (1998): "Why
do I say that the self is a meme-complex? Because it works the same way
as other meme-complexes... [it] has a good reason for getting installed
in the first place. Then once it is in place, memes inside the complex
are mutually supportive, can go on being added to almost infinitely, and
the whole complex is resistant to evidence that it is false."
Bouissac, P. "The Construction
of Ignorance and the Evolution of Knowledge": "The way, in which theories
come and go, prosper and disappear, indicates that, although they are
generally considered to be produced by human brains, they are endowed
with a relative degree of autonomy with respect to the populations of
organisms among which they spread with various degrees of success."
Bouissac, P. "Memes
Matter" Semiotic Review of Books (1994): A "speculative exploration
of the memes-as-parasites hypothesis"
Bouissac, P. "Why
Do Memes Die?": "It can be hypothesized that there are at least four
causes which can bring about the demise of a meme."
Clemens, Samuel "What
Is Man?": "Personally you did not create even the smallest
microscopic fragment of the materials out of which your opinion is made;
and personally you cannot claim even the slender merit of putting
the borrowed materials together. That was done automatically
- by your mental machinery, in strict accordance with the law of that
machinery's construction. And you not only did not make that machinery
yourself, but you have not even any command over it."
Cox, Paul "Memes and Schemes":
Chapter 2 of a work in progress about 'schemes' - collections of memes
that form paradigms or outlooks.
Cristianini, N. "Evolution and Learning:
An Epistemological Perspective" (1995): "Starting from the observation
that the structure itself of an organism embodies knowledge about the
environment which it is adapted to, it is possible to regard evolution
as a learning process."
Cullen, Ben "Parasite Ecology and the
Evolution of Religion" The Evolution of Complexity (1995):
"Most of the world's established religions are transmitted vertically,
from parents to children, and are therefore expected to be benign towards
* Darwin, Charles
the Origin of Species" (1859): "This preservation of favourable individual
differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious,
I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest."
* Darwin, Charles
Descent of Man" (1871): "[M]an must be included with other organic
beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on
* Dawkins, Richard
New Replicators" The Selfish Gene (1976): "Examples of memes
are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots
or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene
pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate
themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process
which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation."
* Dawkins, Richard
"Viruses of the Mind"
Dennett and His Critics (1991): Argues that religion is a pathological
meme, science a sensible one. "[T]he selective forces that scrutinize
scientific ideas are not arbitrary and capricious. They are exacting,
well-honed rules, and they do not favor pointless self-serving behavior."
Dawkins, Richard "The
Selfish Meme" Time (1999): An adaptation of his introduction
to Blackmore's The Meme Machine.
de Jong, Martin "Survival
of the institutionally fittest concepts" JOM:EMIT (1999): "Certain
arguments generated by political and administrative actors find their
way to tangible policy actions, others do not... This article spots the
issue of political decision making from an evolutionary and memetics perspective..."
* Dennett, Daniel
"Memes and the Exploitation
of Imagination" J. Aesthetics and Art Criticism (1990): "[A]lmost
no one writing about the evolution of ideas or cultural evolution treats
the underlying Darwinian ideas with the care they deserve. I propose to
Dennett, Daniel "Memes: Myths,
Misunderstandings and Misgivings" (1998): "[The] spectrum of possibilities,
from the unwitting, unconscious hosting of culture-borne viruses (of all
'attitudes') to the foresightful design and promulgation of inventions
and creations that intelligently and artfully draw upon well-understood
cultural resources, must be viewable under a single, unifying perspective."
Dennett, Daniel "The Evolutionof Culture"
Feed (1999): "That is the truism: cultures evolve over time...
Now let's turn to the controversial question... Are there any good theories
or models of cultural evolution?"
Edmonds, Bruce "On Modelling
in Memetics" JOM:EMIT (1998): "The field of memetics is characterised
and two types of memetic model analysed: the a priori model and
the 'black-box' model."
Elliot, Carl "A New Way to
Be Mad" The Atlantic Monthly (2000): Discusses apotemnophilia
as a possible "semantic contagion."
Erwin, Greg "This is the
Holy Salvation Meme" alt.memetics (1994): "It announces that
you may be saved from eternal torture and rewarded with infinite, eternal
bliss by accepting its claims and affording it opportunities to replicate
Felkins, Leon "Strolling Through the Memetic
Mine Field" The Ethical Spectacle (1995): "I will give a brief
introduction to how the mind is influenced by memes and genes and give
examples of the many memes that have great control over our lives."
Felkins, Leon "The Memes of Love,
Sex and Marriage" (1995): "After a person has accepted that certain
memes are enhancing or interfering with their love life, that person should
examine these memes under the microscope of rigid logic."
Fiore, Frank "Viral
marketing" American City Business Journals (1999): "Viral marketing
is like it sounds. Call it word-of-mouth, spawning, self-propagation -
Fog, Agner "Cultural Selection" (1996): "This
theory is inspired by Charles Darwin's idea of natural selection, because
cultural elements are seen as analogous to genes, in the sense that they
may be reproduced from generation to generation and they may undergo change."
Fog, Agner "Cultural r/k
Selection" JOM:EMIT (1997): "A society dominated by external
conflicts or war will evolve in a direction called regal, whereas a society
in a peaceful or sparsely populated area will evolve in the opposite direction,
Gabora, Liane "A
Day in the Life of a Meme" The Nature, Representation and Evolution
of Concepts (1996): "Since memes do not contain instructions for their
replication, our brains do it for them, strategically, guided by a fitness
landscape that reflects both internal drives and a worldview that forms
through meme assimilation."
Gabora, Liane "Culture,
Evolution, and Computation" Proc. 2nd Online Workshop on Evolutionary
Computation (1996): "Cultural evolution presents a paradox analogous
to the origin of life: the origin of a potentially creative stream of
thought in an infant's brain."
Gabora, Liane "Memes: The Creative
Spark" Wired (1997): "Memetics appears not only to put us on
the road to understanding the pervasiveness, diversity, and adaptive complexity
of the cultural debris that surrounds and infests us. It also yields unexpected
insight into creativity and spiritual matters that have mystified us since
the first fledgling memes appeared in our ancestors' brains."
Gross, Dave "Some Reflections
on Creation Versus Evolution of Memes" (1997): "My theory is that
in the course of... inner dialogs, the same sort of mutations and recombinations
take place as do in multi-person conversation. Each person becomes a unique
evolutionary arena for memes..."
Henson, H. Keith "Memes Meta-Memes
and Politics" (1988): "The study of memetics takes the old saw about
ideas having a life of their own seriously and applies what we know about
ecosystems, evolution, and epidemiology to study the spread and persistence
of ideas in cultures."
Heylighen, Francis "Evolution,
Selfishness and Cooperation" Principia Cybernetica (1992):
"In a following paper... a new model will be proposed... based on the
concept of a meme as replicating unit of cultural evolution. The present
paper will mainly set the stage..."
Heylighen, Francis "'Selfish'
Memes and the Evolution of Cooperation" Principia Cybernetica
(1992): (appended to previous paper) "A new, integrated model for the
evolution of cooperation is proposed, based on the concept of a meme,
as replicating unit of culture."
Heylighen, Francis "Fitness
as default: the evolutionary basis for cognitive complexity reduction"
Principia Cybernetica (1992): "[G]iven that knowledge consists
of extremely simple models of an infinitely complex reality, how can we
explain that knowledge is still most of the time reliable? I will try
to answer that question by linking the mechanism of default reasoning
to the natural selection of cognized phenomena."
Heylighen, Francis "Evolutionary Approach to Epistemology"
Principia Cybernetica (1993): "Evolutionary epistemology is an
approach that sees knowledge in the first place as a product of the variation
and selection processes characterizing evolution"
Heylighen, Francis "Memetics" Principia Cybernetica
(1994): "A meme is defined as a cognitive-behavioral pattern that can
be transmitted from one individual to another one through communication."
Heylighen, Francis "Competition between Memes and
Genes" Principia Cybernetica (1994): "It should not surprise
us then that during the last ten thousand years, humans have almost not
changed on the genetic level, whereas their culture (i.e. the total set
of memes) has undergone the most radical developments."
Heylighen, Francis "Structure of memes" Principia
Cybernetica (1994): Describes two models that may be useful in describing
the ways memes work.
Heylighen, Francis "Knowledge Selection Criteria"
Principia Cybernetica (1995): "Whereas traditional epistemologies
try to distinguish 'true' knowledge from 'false' knowledge... in an evolutionary
context we must admit that many different influences impinge on the evolution
Heylighen, Francis "Memetic Selection Criteria"
Principia Cybernetica (1995): Describes several criteria that,
when met by a meme, make that meme more successful.
Heylighen, Francis "In defense of 'Memesis'"
Memesis Symposium (1996): "[M]ost of the criticisms of the 'Memesis'
text strike me as based on misunderstandings of what concepts like 'evolution'
and 'memes' really mean."
Hrachovec, Herbert "Maiming Memes" Memesis
Symposium (1996): "Taking the suggested analogy at face value one
would have to discuss problems arising from the uncritical transfer of
categories appropriate to the working of proteins to the description of
James, William "Great Men and their
Environment" Atlantic (1880): "A remarkable parallel, which
I think has never been noticed, obtains between the facts of social evolution
on the one hand, and of zoölogical evolution as expounded by Mr. Darwin
on the other."
Kendal, Jeremy R. & Laland, Kevin N. "Mathematical
Models for Memetics" JOM:EMIT (2000): "The goal of this article
is to point out the similarities between memetics and cultural evolution
and gene-culture co-evolutionary theory, and to illustrate the potential
utility of the models to memetics."
Laurent, John "A Note on
the Origin of 'Memes'/'Mnemes'" JOM:EMIT (1999): Speculates
that the term "meme" may have an origin in Maurice Maeterlinck's term
"mneme" which he used as early as 1927 to describe memories held by social
Lynch, Aaron "Units and Events of Replication"
J. Ideas (1991): Attempts to "recast the core concepts of Thought
Contagion theory in language that does not depend on analogies to the
biological or computer sciences."
Lynch, Aaron "Self-Sent Messages and Mass Belief"
(1996): Chapter One of Thought Contagion: "Like a software virus
in a computer network or a physical virus in a city, thought contagions
proliferate by effectively 'programming' for their own retransmission."
Lynch, Aaron "Units, Events
and Dynamics in Memetic Evolution" JOM:EMIT (1998): "An evolutionary
recursive replicator theory of mental/brain information is presented...
[E]quations are developed for meme host population versus time in a two-meme
system, modeling the dynamics whereby events at the individual level give
rise to trends at the population level."
Marsden, Paul "Memetics
and Social Contagion: Two Sides of the Same Coin?" JOM:EMIT
(1998): "[P]roposing a memetic theory of social contagion, arguing that
social contagion research and memetics are indeed two sides of the same
social epidemiological coin, and end[ing] with a call for their synthesis
into a comprehensive body of theoretically informed research."
Marsden, Paul "Is Suicide
Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics" JOM:EMIT (2001):
"The phenomenon of suicide contagion is demonstrated experimentally. An
interpretation of the results is proposed using an understanding of memetics
as contagion psychology informed by selectionist thinking."
Marshall, Garry "The Internet and
Memetics" Principia Cybernetica (1998): "Memetics provides
a unified framework for examining the overall behavior of the Internet
and its users."
Mason, Kelby "Thoughts as Tools:
The Meme in Daniel Dennett's Work" Principia Cybernetica (1998):
"I... focus specifically on the claim that memetics is reductionistic...
Next I disucss the apparent threat of memetics to humanity's self-image,
and finally some genuine problems posed by Dennett's treatment of memetics."
Medawar, Sir Peter "The Future
of Man" (1959): "I shall discuss the origin in human beings of a new,
a non-genetical, system of heredity and evolution based upon certain properties
and activities of the brain."
Miotto, Paola: see Preti, Antonio
Modelski, George "Evolutionary Paradigm
for Global Politics" International Studies Quarterly (1996):
"[T]he institutions of world politics evolve, that is they undergo change
subject to identifiable evolutionary processes."
Monod, Jacques "Chance and
necessity" (1971): "For a biologist it is tempting to draw a parallel
between the evolution of ideas and that of the biosphere." (brief excerpt)
* Moritz, Elan "Memetic Science:
I- General Introduction" (1990): "This paper presents a rigorous foundation
for discussion of memes and approaches to quantifying relevant aspects
of meme genesis, interaction, mutation, growth, death and spreading processes."
Owlglass, Nancy "The Reasons for the Unexpected
Difficulties of Modern Life" Disumbrationist League Bulletin
(1998): "Ideas that serve us - memes that tend to increase the reproductive
success of the host organism - have an obvious edge. And that's good for
us. But ideas that serve themselves first will always win out in the final
Preti, Antonio & Miotto, Paola "Creativity,
Evolution and Mental Illness" JOM:EMIT (1997): "Studies on
the link between creativity and mental illnesses show that it is exactly
the characteristics of the mental disorder which also confer some advantage
on afflicted individuals."
Pyper, Hugh S. "The
Selfish Text: The Bible and Memetics" The Bible into Culture Colloquium
(1997): "[T]he proposition that this paper will discuss: western culture
is the bible's way of making more bibles."
Reader, Simon M. & Laland, Kevin N. "Do
Animals Have Memes?" JOM:EMIT (1999): "[I]mitation is simply
one mechanism of transmitting acquired information between individuals.
As long as information is transmitted with sufficient fidelity to be replicated
in the brain of the receiver, any social learning process will do."
* Rose, Nick "Controversies
in Meme Theory" JOM:EMIT (1998): "Four areas of meme theory
are critically reviewed. These are ambiguity in the definition of a meme
and convusion regarding the distinction between replicator and phenotype,
the problem of inheritance of acquired characteristics, the relationship
between memetics and sociobiology, and the selection or mutation of memes
being carried out by conscious foresight."
Ross, Stephen E. ""Memes"
as Infectious Agents in Psychosomatic Illness" Annals of Internal
Medicine (1999): "Some disease conceptions appear to induce illness
in the absence of any classic pathogen. These psychosomatic memes induce
biological, psychological, and social changes in their hosts and can be
transmitted to others."
Runciman, W. "Socialising
Darwin" Prospect (1998): "[T]he value of Darwin's insight...
extends beyond his original concern with the origin of species. It extends...
forward into the process of the evolution of consciousness from which
art, literature and science have emerged."
Runiciman, W. "Darwinian Soup" (1999):
A review of Blackmore's The Meme Machine.
Rushkoff, Douglas "Ways and Memes"
Memesis Symposium (1996): "The meme that's gotten me in the most
trouble is the meme meme itself."
Shaviro, Steven "Language is a Virus From
Outer Space" Doom Patrols (1995): Discusses William S. Burroughs'
theories of viral language: "Strands of alien DNA unfurl themselves in
our brains, just as tapeworms unfurl themselves in our guts."
Shaw, Ray: see Price, If
Sherman, Tom "The New Protozoans?"
Memesis Symposium (1996): "All this constant modeling, remodeling
and over-coding of nature: maybe this obsessive modeling of nature is
our species' strategy for survival?"
Siegfried, André "The Spreading of Germs
and Ideas" Germs and Ideas: Routes of Epidemics and Ideologies
(1958): "There is a striking parallel between the spreading of germs and
the spreading of ideas or propaganda."
Speel, Hans-Cees "Memes are also Interactors"
15th Int. Cong. on Cybernetics (1998): "I argue that if we can
and do judge memes by their merits without necessary interference of the
physical world, which implies a kind of phemotype or conceptual phenotype,
memes should count as interactors."
Sperber, Dan "An objection to the memetic approach
to culture" Darwinizing Culture (2000): "Memeticists have to
give empirical evidence to support the claim that, in the micro-processes
of cultural transmission, elements of culture inherit all or nearly all
their relevant properties from other elements of culture that they replicate."
VanArsdale, Daniel W. "Chain Letter Evolution"
(1998): "Our collection supports the view of chain letters as a 'mind
virus'... they may now help us comprehend the generality and inexhaustible
opportunism of evolution."
Vandekerckhove, P.: see Bruynseels, K.
Vaneechoutte, Mario "The Memetic Basis
of Religion" Nature (1993): "Memes then are those thought constructions
which can supply an individual with certainty about its own fate."
NEW Vos, Ed & Kelleher, Ben
and Takeovers: A Memetic Approach" JOM:EMIT (2001): "[F]inance
based motivational studies on M&A activities have not established
that this activity `adds value' to the acquiring firm... managers (the
meme holders) use mergers and acquisitions to enhance their power, and
in gaining this power managers unconsciously provide an improved medium
through which their memetic `stories' may be replicated."
Wark, McKenzie "Is
'meme' a bad meme?" Netletter (1996): "Dawkins' theory of the
meme is far too simplistic to tell us much. What is a unit of meme? How
is it transmitted? How is it decoded? But one quickly discovers better
theories that do the same job in more detail. Starting, as I mentioned,
with Foucault's theory of the statement, or Lyotard's theory of the phase."