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Ghislain
03-07-2013, 11:19 PM
A meme ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme) (pronounced meem) is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within
a culture.

The word “Meme” was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins), in his book The
Selfish Gene. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene)

A play on the word "gene" and modeled on the words mimeme, meaning "imitated thing",
mimeisthai, meaning "to imitate",and mime, meaning imitator/actor, Meme is used as a concept
for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena.

As we are not privy to the actions of genes on a second by second basis, even within our own bodies,
then can we be sure of the actions of memes upon our thoughts?

We as Alchemists are in search of Gold...why?, because it’s the purest of metals...is it?

Perhaps it is and perhaps someone here can enlighten me as to why it is considered so, but I do not
know the properties of every metal in the periodic table, so I guess I must believe this is so because
of memes.

This brings to mind a sketch from the sitcom Black Adder (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkZFuKHXa7w) where Percy produces Pure Green.

In Percy’s eyes it was reasonable to believe that if Gold is revered for its purity then his green would
be too...If Percy commanded any respect for his intelligence then there may have started a meme
for the value of Pure Green. Where can I get some?


There is already a thread introducing a book by Sean Sinjin called “ Meme (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1605-Meme&highlight=meme)” I think Sinjin is creatively
extrapolating on Dawkins’ work.

Read with an open mind it has some good concepts IMO. A free ebook version can be downloaded HERE. (http://46.252.194.191/Meme/Meme%20-%20Ebook.pdf)

For anyone who is familiar with Dawkins he is IMO a bigoted evolutionist, but then he could be just a meme
evolved being...what memes has he evolved from?

If Dawkins is right and memes with their speed-of-light medium, in such things as the Internet and media, are the
new evolutionary factor then what are we about to evolve into?

With the, now popular, study of NLP, will the "powers that be" manipulate the memes for their own benefit...IMO they
have been doing it for years, it’s just going to get worse.

I believe memes bring into question “free thinking” for is anyone sure where their open minds create the concepts
they do?


I think, but do I unwittingly plagiarize?

Memes could change the phrase coined by Descartes from, "I think therefore I am", to, "They think therefore I am".

Ghislain

Bel Matina
03-08-2013, 02:49 AM
Gold was selected as the noblest metal on account of its economic value and some of its superficial properties. During the early post-Alexandrian period of the tradition its properties became central to a number of important metaphors. Otherwise common gold, or any other particular thing, is only one of myriad manifestations of our gold in its sublunar state.

Dawkins was hardly the first to see human culture as modular, indeed even a casual review of history will lead to this inescapable conclusion. Whatever your notion on the nature and dynamics of the modular units from which it's constructed, it's clear that if they are modular and have a process which leads to their recombination (which, again, a casual review of history will demonstrate) then they must be subject to the same kinds of selective pressures as DNA.

Humans have never been as independent of their environments as many like to think, and the lines we draw around the "self" are more or less completely artificial. But then, that should surprise substantially fewer people here than the average forum, I would think.

Ghislain
03-08-2013, 10:12 AM
Gold was selected as the noblest metal on account of its economic value and some of its superficial properties. During the early post-Alexandrian period of the tradition its properties became central to a number of important metaphors. Otherwise common gold, or any other particular thing, is only one of myriad manifestations of our gold in its sublunar state.

Dawkins was hardly the first to see human culture as modular, indeed even a casual review of history will lead to this inescapable conclusion. Whatever your notion on the nature and dynamics of the modular units from which it's constructed, it's clear that if they are modular and have a process which leads to their recombination (which, again, a casual review of history will demonstrate) then they must be subject to the same kinds of selective pressures as DNA.

Humans have never been as independent of their environments as many like to think, and the lines we draw around the "self" are more or less completely artificial. But then, that should surprise substantially fewer people here than the average forum, I would think.

Thanks for that info Bel...could you elaborate on your understanding of how you may be affected by memes...
if, of course, you believe you may be or not?

On the Gold issue...

My brother came back from a trip to Africa with some beads...I cannot remember what they were
called...they were turquoise in colour with a mottled multicoloured pattern that ran right through the bead.
This was a man made material and only a trusted few people knew how to make them. If anyone but the few
were found trying to perform the recipe to make these beads they were put to death. These beads were used
as currency among the people...No gold here.

You said above, “But then, that should surprise substantially fewer people here than the average forum”,

Is that to say that the people here are above the influence of memes?

I was brought up Roman Catholic, attended church every Sunday until, at the age of fourteen, I rebelled
and refused to attend any more, that was forty years ago. Recently while browsing the net I stumbled upon
The Nicene Creed...this is repeated at every mass by the congregation. Now I believe myself to be separate
from this form of indoctrination, but reading the creed was like talking to an old friend...how deeply are the
memes embedded?

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation,
he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified
under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered died and was buried.

On the third day he rose again
in fulfilment of the Scriptures;

He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the
Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy
catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one
baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Unless one has been brought up in a society of pure,open minded searchers what influences unbeknown
to us lurk in our psyche?

The meme of the Nicene Creed above was openly spoken and easy to see, but there are many others more
hidden or covert.

I try to keep an open mind, probably allowing all sorts of unwanted memes in, but if I close the mind the
material inside may stagnate and become fixed (Orthodox Religion). I guess the job is to filter the
information flow, but what influences the creation of the filters...it’s a vicious circle.

Memes are contagious and one might not be affected by them, just a carrier ;)

Ghislain